Question: Are you a human being?
How do you know? When did you become one? Says who? Who made the decision?
With apologies to all the medical specialists out there, let us do a quick rundown, or run up, depending on one’s point of view.
Somewhere, a male’s sperm united with a female’s egg and “something” began at fertilization. What was it? Depends on who you talk to.
When the sperm and egg united, something was created. This something was named a “zygote.” Now, a male human and a female human have produced something. Is it human? Depends on who you talk to.
This zygote, now named “morula” (a solid mass of cells called blastomeres), then travels down the woman’s fallopian tube to the uterus where it takes up residence for 5-12 days and picks up a new name, “blastocyst.” Human? Depends on who you talk to.
This “whatever” (parasite? It requires a host to survive) hangs out in the nutrient-rich female uterus from week two to week six, where it picks up the name “embryo.” Human? Depends on who you talk to.
This journey has taken about 12 weeks, and by the end of the eighth week, all major body parts are in place and clearly discernible. The heart begins beating after week four, and brain waves appear after week six. This process, called “organogenesis,” produces something named “fetus.” Human? Depends on who you talk to.
Some have been so bold as to call the thing “human” after as few as two months; some go so far as to confer human status after as few as 28 days of gestation; and still others (mostly those conservative Christian types) consider “it” human upon conception.
There are, of course, the intellectuals, the liberated, the diehards, the realists who do not confer human status until after it is “born” – a term which, we will discover, must also be defined, as there are conditions to be satisfied. There are other terms that require consideration, such as “reproductive freedom,” “choice” or, as the unenlightened call it, “abortion.”
There are a variety of ways to “terminate” a zygote/morula/blastocyst/embryo/fetus; consequently, extreme care must be exercised in the naming of the “thing” inside a pregnant woman.
Recent radio, TV, newspaper and Internet headlines all bear witness to a modern fact of life; murders of children are considered to be among the most heinous of crimes and people who murder children are almost universally despised.
However, as long as the fetus thingee is not clearly identified as “human,” the condemnation reserved for killers of children is not applicable to those enabling the woman’s “right to choose” option. Consequently, even something as horrendous as “partial birth abortion” is not a prosecutable offense.
For the unenlightened minority, “partial-birth abortion is a procedure in which the abortionist pulls a living baby feet-first out of the womb and into the birth canal (vagina), except for the head, which the abortionist purposely keeps lodged just inside the cervix (the opening to the womb). The abortionist punctures the base of the baby’s skull with a surgical instrument, such as a long surgical scissors or a pointed hollow metal tube called a trochar. He then inserts a catheter (tube) into the wound and removes the baby’s brain with a powerful suction machine. This causes the skull to collapse, after which the abortionist completes the delivery of the now-dead baby.” Human?
Will someone please explain: What is the difference between removing a baby via C-section, where they enable it to live, and partial birth abortion where they terminate a fetus? In both cases, the “thing” is out of the womb. What is the difference?!
So, exactly when did you become a human being? As a zygote, embryo, fetus or a newborn? Perhaps as a baby, a toddler, or young child? Surely before becoming a teenager! Who decided?
Since the matter is, thus far, open to discussion, let us consider an alternate view:
Scientifically proven techniques, developed in the mid-1990s dealing with DNA, “have proven that each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization [conception]. A human being at an embryonic age and that [same] human being at an adult age are … the same; the biological differences are due only to … maturity. Science has further discovered that the human being is fully programmed for human growth and development for his or her entire life at the age of one cell.”
Christians overwhelmingly believe you are a human being at the moment of conception; and in case you are wondering where they get their ideas about birth and abortions, perhaps from statements like these:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5).
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalms 139:13).
Well, like I said, it all depends on who you talk to.