EXAMINING SOME "PRO-CHOICE" RHETORIC
PART 1: "PRO-CHOICE" - the perfect name?
Not long ago, the Milwaukee Journal, like other newspapers across the
country, had to make an editorial decision on what to call the two
opponents in the abortion controversy. Each side, by this time, had it's
own preferred designation for its own members - as well as for the
opposition. So, those who favor limits on abortions could be called
prolife, anti-abortion or anti-choice, depending on the outlook of the
writer. Likewise, the others might be entitled pro-choice, abortion
rights activist or pro-abortion. There was considerable action in the
"letters to the editors" column for a while, with most pro-abortion
leaders preferring to be called "pro-choice".
Personally, I think it fits their campaign pretty well.
It seems to me that, just like the "pro-choice" term, the ENTIRE set of
"pro-choice"arguments serve only to distract attention from the REAL issue
- ABORTION. The first arguments in the Roe vs. Wade case represented this
as a case of "separation of Church and State", and later settled into a
"right to privacy" decision - both of which are loosely addressed in the
U.S. Constitution. Alas, since the country's forefathers didn't have the
foresight to see that unborn children would someday be slaughtered by the
millions, they never addressed that issue. So, the Court really couldn't
address abortion as such, since their duty is merely to interpret the
Constitution, and the "right to privacy" argument held up.
Newer "pro-choice" arguments take the same course. The word abortion, or
even the euphemism, "termination", rarely is encountered. It's always a
"women's rights" issue, or a "right to choice" issue. Instead of
addressing what happens to unborn children during an abortion, it's always
"unwanted children", "quality of life", "abused children", welfare,
capital punishment, public opinion polls and bloody coat hangers.
PART 2: ABORTION, CONTRACEPTION and BIRTH CONTROL
In the earliest days of the abortion battle, the pro-abortion leaders
tried fervently to convince the courts and the public that the Roman
Catholic Church was trying to impose their morality upon the rest of us by
banning abortions. Much to our shame, it seems that Catholics were the
only religious leaders willing and daring enough to be involved in
political actions at that time. And since the Catholic Church forbade
contraception as well as abortion, the two were often linked together in
abortion discussions. Pro-abortion leaders seized the opportunity to
discredit anti-abortion arguments, essentially stating that all
anti-abortion activists were also anti-contraception. This would not sit
well with the American public, who had already begun to use contraceptives
as their primary form of birth control.
This sort of "linking" occurs frequently in pro-abortion debate, but as
usual, there are two distinctly different subjects involved.
When human sperm and egg meet (called CONCEPTION), God has created a
whole, new individual life that is genetically complete, needing only a
suitable place (its mother's womb) to grow and mature. CONTRAception
literally means to prevent such a union - and thus to prevent the new
individual from ever being formed. ABORTION takes place AFTER conception,
and results in the "termination" (death) of an already existing life!
BIRTH CONTROL means to prevent birth, and includes both of the above.
CONTRACEPTION is primarily a moral issue - not a legal one. In cases of
contraception, there is no new life that is in need of being protected by
law. It is an accepted practice among most religious groups (even
unofficially among many Catholics), social groups, and yes, among MANY
ABORTION is another matter; new life has ALREADY begun - a life that has
its own value, a life that God cares about. When we seek laws that limit
abortion, we are attempting to PROTECT a living, human being from the
actions of others, just as we protect each other. We're not interested in
control over women's bodies, or needlessly interfering with her "rights";
we are looking only to establish for the unborn the most basic,
fundamental right, the RIGHT TO LIFE.
PART 3: "YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE MORALITY"
"You can't legislate morality" - kind of a catchy phrase, isn't it? Used
in great abundance in the late sixties and early seventies by the
pro-abortion minority, these words conveyed a certain sense of higher
purpose, as if government could never be allowed to infringe upon an
individual's right to live by whatever moral beliefs he might have.
Fortunately, that concept is utter nonsense.
One would be very hard pressed to find laws that DIDN'T "legislate
morality". By their very nature, laws are formulated, enacted and
enforced to PROTECT US FROM ONE ANOTHER"S MORALITY. Our individual
"rights" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" STOP COLD the
moment they begin to intrude upon the same rights of others.
The phrase has pretty much fallen by the wayside, but the attitude is
still abundant today. Abortion rights activists attempt to make the
point, "We're not PRO-ABORTION! - what an awful idea! - abortion is a
terrible, painful experience - who could POSSIBLY be FOR such a thing? We
only want women to have a CHOICE! After all, what they do with their own
bodies is their business." Some (particularly politicians and newspaper
editors) may even use the "I'm personally opposed to abortion, BUT...."
This argument, like most pro-abortion strategies, overlooks the most
important issue of the abortion debate - THERE IS ANOTHER HUMAN LIFE TO BE
RECKONED WITH! What women do with their bodies IS their business - UNLESS
it effects another's life. The rights of the mother to "privacy" and
"choice" do not supersede the unborn child's right to life. Women DO have
a choice of whether or not to have children, but once a new life has
begun, that CHOICE IS ALREADY MADE! Like it or not, they now HAVE a
child, and its rights now have to be considered, too.
OF COURSE we CAN "legislate morality" - it's a shame, but we have to.
PART 4: THE DEATH PENALTY
One of the more imaginative rhetorical questions heard from the
pro-abortion camp goes something like this:
"Isn't anyone who is against abortion and in favor of the death penalty a
Assumably the logic is thus:
1. anti-abortionists are generally considered "conservatives".
2. "conservatives" generally support the death penalty.
3. anti-abortionists are in favor of the death penalty.
As you may well imagine, prolife people do not automatically agree on
every other issue, including whether or not the government should be
allowed to execute those found guilty of heinous crimes. But let's play
along for a bit, and assume that most prolifers agree to allow capital
Invariably, the person asking this question fails to see how its REVERSE
statement is just as valid!
"Isn't anyone who is pro-abortion but against capital punishment a
In general, I think that prolifers would be THRILLED if unborn children
had even HALF the opportunity that mass-murderers, child molesters and
rapists get. In order to be executed, a hardened criminal must:
1. commit an extremely atrocious crime.
2. be caught.
3. be informed of AND UNDERSTAND his legal rights.
4. be found mentally competent.
5. be convicted by a jury of his peers.
6. be sentenced to death.
7. commit his crime in a state which employs capital punishment.
8. not receive a stay of execution.
For an unborn child to lose his life, he need only:
1. be "unwanted" by one person.
How can we compare the inmates of death row to unborn children? Is there
any one more innocent than these babies? Do they in any way understand
their rights? Are they mentally competent? Do they receive a fair trial
- or even a chance to present their case?
They should be so lucky.
PART 5: "...A WOMAN AND HER DOCTOR."
We've all seen the ads:
"The decision to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her
Let's first examine the "...and her doctor." part of this statement.
Designed to imply that a respected, knowledgeable physician is somehow
involved in the decision, this phrase has little to do with reality. The
majority of abortions are performed in ABORTION CLINICS, not the M.D.'s
office. Whatever counseling the mother gets is given by clinic personnel;
and no matter how impartial they may claim to be, the simple truth is that
they have a vested interest in the woman's decision. Though they may like
to see themselves as a "public service", these clinics must operate as
most other businesses do - to make a profit. If women choose to have
abortions, the clinic gets paid, business prospers, and jobs are kept. In
addition, the employees of these clinics are undoubtedly "pro-choice"
activists. Just how unbiased do you suppose their "counseling" will be.
Even if the woman sought advice from her doctor, just how much input does
the doctor have? The overwhelming majority (95% to 99%) of abortions
performed in this country HAVE NO MEDICAL INDICATIONS as to their
necessity. Did you know that the Hippocratic Oath (that physicians
worldwide swore to uphold since 460 B.C.) SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED
performing abortion? (The oath is still administered, but this clause, "I
shall not give pessary to induce abortion", has recently been deleted.)
However, regardless of his or her own moral values, the physician CANNOT
REFUSE to either provide an abortion or refer the patient to someone who
will. Failure to do so can be considered malpractice. So much for
"...and her doctor" 's influence.
Of course, there is a third party involved in an abortion, hence the
prolife responding ad:
"When they say the decision to have an abortion should be left to a
woman and her doctor, THEY'RE FORGETTING SOMEONE!"
This is really the heart of the prolife movement; there IS another life
involved, another person who has the most to lose or gain, a human being
whose very life hangs in the balance - but who has yet no voice to speak
up for his own "rights".
That's where you and I come in.
PART 6: PUBLIC OPINION POLLS
Pro-abortion leaders seem to find great solace in the fact that most
recent public opinion polls seem to support their position. In fact, many
suggest that we prolifers surrender and forego any further efforts to
abolish the "institution" of abortion which SO MANY AMERICANS (supposedly)
ARE IN FAVOR OF.
IF ONLY THEY HAD TAKEN THAT SAME ADVICE 20 years ago when they fought the
Roe/Wade battle even though all the polls showed the American public
OPENLY rejected, even ABHORRED the concept of abortion-on-demand.
But what about the polls themselves? Has the public perception REALLY
changed so drastically in these past years? OR HAVE WE JUST CHANGED THE
It is not difficult for most of us to see how public opinion polls,
especially when conducted directly by the sponsor, ROUTINELY SUPPORT THE
VIEWS OF THE SPONSOR. Even if we accept the "random sampling" of 400
citizens to accurately represent the opinion of 4,000,000, we are left
with the problem of EXACTLY WHAT TO ASK. Polls at the time of Roe/Wade
usually asked, "Should abortion be legalized?", to which the vast majority
answered, "NO". Nowadays, the questions (in polls sponsored by
pro-abortion groups) are more like, "Should a woman have the right to
abortion?", and the response is, "YES". In fact, a recent survey
(performed by a well-respected polling firm but sponsored by a prolife
group) gave these results:
Should a woman HAVE THE RIGHT to abortion? - 60% YES
Should an unborn HAVE THE RIGHT to be born? - 60% YES
Keep in mind that these questions occurred DURING THE SAME INTERVIEW! How
difficult would it be to choose questions that showed public support of
your cause. (by the way, the results of this extensive survey were made
available to the Milwaukee Journal, which, of course, rejected them for
A more useful type of poll seeks to divide the question as to where to
draw the line. Results are often something like this:
A woman should be allowed to have a legal abortion:
1. when her life is in danger - 80%
2. in cases of rape or incest - 70%
3. if her health is at risk - 40%
4. if the child has a major defect - 30%
5. if she cannot afford a child - 20%
6. if she does not want a child - 15%
7. to choose the sex of her child - 10%
(the per cent figures here are approximate and from memory, but the
point is still valid)
Now, the Milwaukee Journal ran just such a survey a while back, under the
front page headline:
80% SUPPORT ABORTION RIGHTS
=== ======= ======== ======
It is therefore plain that even a useful poll can be misleading if the
data is interpreted in a biased manner. The "80%" supported abortion
rights ONLY in the RARE, EXTREME cases (less than 2% of all abortions
occur under these circumstances). A prolife newspaper could take these
same results and come up with the following, equally true headline:
80% OPPOSE 98% OF ABORTIONS
=== ====== === == =========
THE REAL TRUTH of the matter is that there is a LARGE (though shrinking)
segment of the American public that JUST DOESN'T"T WANT TO GET INVOLVED!
That's where there is a continued need for us to attract attention and
EDUCATE the public to the plight of the unborn child.
PART 7: WHAT "RIGHTS" WILL WE TAKE AWAY NEXT?
Pro-abortion leaders often attempt to conjure up a "big brother is
watching" type of vision by asking;
"First they want to take away the woman's right to control her own body;
what right will they take away next?"
This "domino theory" type of philosophy has apparently spawned a new
motion picture, forebodingly entitled, "The Handmaiden's Tale". When I
first noticed a description of this upcoming cinematic venture, I
suspected it might somehow serve as pro-abortion propaganda. I was proven
correct when Hollywood's pro-abortion crowd recently gave it a massive
As I understand it, the story takes place in a futuristic society, where
some disaster or another has caused a great decline in population and
widespread sterility among females. Some fundamentalist-type religious
group (boy, I can't wait to see how we're portrayed in this "classic")
has come to power, and has quickly begun enforcing two new public
1. all homosexual acts are to be punished by death.
2. the bodies of all women capable of bearing children are
now owned by the state.
The women of this latter group are called "handmaidens" and are forced to
conceive and bear children, presumably to help repopulate our poor planet
earth. No doubt we'll see plenty of gloom and doom (probably caused again
by those wicked religious zealots) as the story's heroine escapes the
handmaidens' camp and seeks "freedom of choice".
Of course, two could play at the paranoia game: we could easily envision a
movie depicting "pro-choice" run rampant. In fact I've occasionally heard
the prolife version of this:
"First, they want to kill unborn children, then handicapped newborns,
then the elderly, then "unwanted" newborns, then? ..."
While there is some truth in the idea that what we do today paves the way
for future actions, I think we'll all do better if we stick to the matter
at hand. I've never heard a prolifer insist that a woman must BECOME
PREGNANT, only that she should see the baby through until birth IF SHE IS
ALREADY PREGNANT. Likewise, though the"quality of life" concept of
pro-abortionists COULD be applied to the handicapped and elderly (and
anybody else, for that matter), it has not thus far been their goal to do
"What right will we lose next?" really boils down to just another
pro-abortion attempt to take the focus off the real issue. They try again
to show this as a matter of "women's RIGHTS" (or more aptly, women's
POWER), and completely evade the issue of the basic right of the unborn
child to survive.
And of course, without the RIGHT TO LIFE, we have no rights left to lose.
PART 8: "WHY ARE MOST PRO-LIFERS MEN?"
Pro-abortionists frequently ask this question, no doubt picturing
thousands of "feminist movement" participants nodding their heads,
muttering, "yeah, yeah, it's just another male chauvinist, "keep 'em
barefoot and pregnant" plot. MEN want to have CONTROL over the lives and
bodies of WOMEN."
I guess I can't really speak for EVERY prolife man, but those I've met
have no interest in legislating what a woman can or can't do with her body
- as long as there is no OTHER "body" affected. We may be morally opposed
to some things women OR MEN do with their bodies, but are concerned with
LEGISLATING only those actions IN WHICH THERE IS ANOTHER VICTIM.
We just want to save unborn babies.
"Why are most prolifers men?" seems to me to also imply that men, since
they are unable to become pregnant and bear a child, HAVE NO BUSINESS
speaking out about abortion. This is a WOMEN'S ISSUE, isn't it?
Nonsense; first of all, if my calculations are correct, there are just as
many men involved in pregnancy as women. Though "father's rights" have
come a long way in divorce cases in the U.S., they are still completely
left out when it comes to the decision of whether or not THEIR UNBORN
CHILD will be killed or allowed to live. Furthermore, nearly as many male
children are aborted each year as female. (Much to the dismay of
feminists, more baby girls are currently being aborted, presumably because
most women who use abortions to choose the sex of their
children choose to have boys. It is quite possible that men will soon
outnumber women in the U.S. due to this single factor.)
Finally, "why are most prolifers men?" lacks one important asset - the
TRUTH! While it seems very likely that many more men are prolife than
pro-abortion, that certainly doesn't mean that they by any means exceed
the number of prolife women. In every prolife event I've attended or seen
televised, in every prolife organization I've encountered, women FAR
OUTNUMBER men in both staff and leadership roles - by a margin of about 10
Perhaps a better question might be, "Why are so few men pro-abortion?
The media seem quite willing, whether intentionally or not, to distort our
perception of the male/female ratios of abortion activists. Pro-abortion
interviews nearly always are conducted on female leaders of "women's
rights" organization and/or women administrators of abortion clinics,
though presumably there are men who are active supporters, and certainly
performers, of abortion. Prolife interviews, on the other hand, often
seek the male directors of anti-abortion organizations, even though there
are plenty of competent female leaders available.
It might be argued that men, free of the possibility of pregnancy, and
less concerned about gaining social and political power, might have a more
objective view of abortion, but that doesn't seem to me to be the case.
The great number of WOMEN in the prolife movement seem to have no trouble
seeing abortion for what it is - the slaughter of innocent unborn
PART 9: "WHO KNOWS WHEN LIFE BEGINS?"
"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When
those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and
theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this
point in development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate
as to the answer."
-Justice Harry Blackmun, in the majority
opinion of Roe Vs. Wade.
As I've mentioned before, the U.S. Supreme Court did NOT rule on Roe vs.
Wade on the basis of whether or not the unborn child is alive, but instead
based on a woman's "right to privacy" (surprisingly enough, the phrase
"right to privacy" does NOT exist in the U.S. Constitution). The court
DID make an issue of VIABILITY - the age at which the fetus could
potentially survive outside the womb, but quickly backtracked and stated
that, because individual physicians might easily disagree on the
"viability" of an individual fetus, any law written to protect "viable"
fetuses would be struck down as legally vague.
Roe vs. Wade went on to carve out three sectors of a pregnancy with fixed
FIRST TRIMESTER - for about the first 12 weeks, the state is forbidden to
control abortion in any way. Abortion during this period is statistically
safer than childbirth, so the state supposedly has no need to regulate to
protect the woman's health.
SECOND TRIMESTER - up until about 22 weeks, the state gains permission to
regulate such medical matters as doctor's qualification or type of
facilities. But abortion itself is still none of the state's business and
cannot be regulated.
THIRD TRIMESTER - after this non-definable point of "viability", the state
may have an interest in protecting "meaningful" fetal life and may even
PROHIBIT abortion unless necessary to preserve the life or "health" of the
mother. Unfortunately, neither "meaningful" nor "health" are further
defined, and pro-abortionists have stretched their meanings to include
virtually all circumstances.
Therefore, the "right" to abort FOR ANY REASON is ABSOLUTELY untouchable
for six of nine months and VIRTUALLY untouchable for nine of nine months.
(In a few appalling cases, attorneys have even sought lenient sentencing
for those who "terminated"their children's lives shortly AFTER birth,
creating the reprehensible phrase, "post-term abortion")
In Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to recognize any point at
which and unborn child could be said to have "life" - life that must be
protected by the 14th Amendment:
"...nor shall any State deprive any person of life ... without due process
of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws."
The court clearly chose not to answer:
"Who knows when life begins"
LIFE: the property or quality manifested in functions such as metabolism,
growth, response to stimulation, and reproduction, by which living
organisms are distinguished from dead organisms or inanimate matter." -
American Heritage Dictionary
...Hippocrates - "...I shall give no pessary to produce abortion."
...the Declaration of Geneva from the World Medical Association "...I will
maintain the utmost respect for life from the time of conception until
...the United Nation's Declaration of Rights of the Child - "... special
safeguards and care, including legal protection, before as well as after
...a prominent obstetrician/abortionist confesses that there is no doubt
in his mind that the fetus consists of human life, but that it may be
sacrificed for the good of the mother.
...in virtually every public poll that asked the question, the majority
replied positively to, "life begins at conception". 75% to 80% felt that
life begins BEFORE birth, the point at which the state can first protect
...mothers in increasing numbers are being prosecuted for doing
irreparable damage to their UNBORN children by drug abuse.
...a handful of children, ages 4 to 8, playing near a garbage dumpster,
find dozens of aborted "fetal tissues". They run home to ell their
mothers about all the "dead babies" in the alley.
"WHO KNOWS WHEN LIFE BEGINS?"
- practically everybody.
PART 11: FETAL TISSUE TRANSPLANT
A relatively new topic in the abortion controversy concerns the
possibility of transplanting the tissues of aborted babies into people
with certain debilitating diseases. In particular, sufferers from brain
disorders like Parkinson's disease might benefit from having LIVING FETAL
TISSUE implanted that should manufacture certain chemicals their own
brains require but no longer produce. President Bush's administration
recently extended a moratorium on any experimentation performed upon
aborted human fetuses, but the moratium is under attack by
Democrat-controlled congress, so we'll no doubt see much more on this
topic in the near future. Expect to see testimony after tearful
testimony from the families of brain disorder victims who have been
virtually PROMISED miracle cures, even though there is yet no clinical
evidence supporting such assurance. And yes, we WILL be moved by those
testimonies - just as most of us are moved when we hear of the tragedies
that might lead to abortion or might occur from a "back-alley" abortion.
The Bush administration's main objection to this procedure is that it
might become an added incentive for abortion. While I shudder at the
thought that ANYTHING could induce Americans to perform more than the
current 1.6 million abortions per year, the point is a valid one. It
certainly would not amaze me to hear that some pro-abortion "pregnancy
counselors" (whose main job already appears to be to assure the pregnant
woman that abortion is a safe, legal, moral option) would include the
promise of turning the mother's difficult situation into something
wonderfully positive as part of the sales pitch.
Other objections include the lack of "informed consent" on the part of the
donor. Certainly the fetus cannot decide on its own whether or not to
give up any parts of it's body. And neither the mother nor the transplant
doctors can be expected to represent the infants best interests - they all
have a VESTED INTEREST in what becomes of it. Who then, if not the
government, will look out for the baby? As usual, NOBODY.
You might ask about alternatives to fetal tissue transplants - couldn't
they use tissues from other animals? or maybe from babies (with consent
from the parents) who were stillborn and died from natural causes. Nope.
The tissue must be human. It must be alive.
Isn't this EXACTLY what pro-abortionists have been denying about unborn
children for 20 years?
What if they only used tissues from infants aborted after rape, incest or
to save the life of the mother? These might "work", at least, but
researchers will quickly point out that there are simply not enough
fetuses produced and aborted by such circumstances to provide adequate
experimentation, much less actual transplants.
The way pro-abortionists work them into EVERY discussion of restricting
abortions, you'd think practically ALL abortions were performed on victims
of rape or incest, or women who would likely die if they bore a child.
But the plain truth is that such circumstances are quite rare - probably
less than 5% of the total. There are of course other, less deadly ways
the needed chemical might be produced, the most promising of which might
be genetically engineering special cells to produce it. Will this method
be explored to its fullest? - or are the victims and families of
Parkinson's disease merely being USED to make prolifers look
DIARY OF AN UNBORN CHILD
OCTOBER 5 - Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.
OCTOBER 19 - Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother is. And I am.
OCTOBER 23 - My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be: MAMA.
OCTOBER 25 - My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.
NOVEMBER 2 - I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those little legs will raise me to my mother's arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.
NOVEMBER 12 - Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are! I'll be able to stroke my mother's hair with them.
NOVEMBER 20 - It wasn't until today that the doctor told mom that I am living here under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy, mom?
NOVEMBER 25 - My mom and dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don't even know that I am a little girl. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.
DECEMBER 10 - My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder what kind of hair mom has.
DECEMBER 13 - I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?
DECEMBER 24 - I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup. You'll have a healthy little daughter, mom!
DECEMBER 28 - Today my mother killed me.
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN A NEW LIFE
The period which most abortionists describe as most desirable for performing an abortion is approximately eight weeks after conception. This is a period of almost unimaginable development.
The dates reported here are approximate dates when specific development of functions begins. The dates shown have all been documented and reported in medical journals. Slight variations may occur. All of this data is limited by the sensitivity of the instruments and human limitations involved in observations. Future research may show that these dates are relatively late compared to observations with better or more sensitive methods. We can only conclude that life and its processes are evident, to any observer who is intellectually honest, at fertilization.
Chronology of the Human Mother
Date of last menstrual period.
2 weeks, ovulation - conception - fertilization.
5-9 days, implantation in uterus of mother.
14 days (approximately), the first menstrual period is missed. The mother is probably wondering if she is pregnant.
28 days after conception, earliest tests for pregnancy (testing not fully reliable).
Six weeks after conception, testing for pregnancy relatively reliable. Mother has physical signs of pregnancy and is wondering if she is going to have second missed period or is "truly" pregnant.
Eight weeks after conception, reported by some anti-life proponents as only a glob of tissue. There are those who claim the mother's right over her body gives the right of abortion.
Chronology of the New Human Life
1. Immediately upon fertilization, cellular development begins. Before implantation the sex of the new life can be determined.
2. At implantation, the new life is composed of hundreds of cells and has developed a protective hormone to prevent the mother's body from rejecting it as a foreign tissue.
3. At 17 days, the new life has developed its own blood cells; the placenta is a part of the new life and not of the mother.
4. At 18 days, occasional pulsations of a muscle - this will be the heart.
5. At 19 days, the eyes start to develop.
6. At 20 days, the foundation of the entire nervous system has been laid down.
7. At 24 days, the heart has regular beats or pulsations. (This is a legal sign of life.)
8. At 28 days, 40 pairs of muscles are developed along the trunk of the new life; arms and legs forming.
9. At 30 days, regular blood flow within the vascular system; the ears and nasal development have begun.
10. At 40 days, the heart energy output is reported to be almost 20% of an adult.
11. At 42 days, skeleton complete and the reflexes are present.
12. At 43 days, electrical brain wave patterns can be recorded. This is usually ample evidence that "thinking" is taking place in the brain. The new life may be thought of as a thinking person.
13. At 49 days, the baby has the appearance of a miniature doll with complete fingers, toes and ears.
14. NAME CHANGED FROM EMBRYO TO FETUS. At 56 days all organs functioning - stomach, liver, kidney, brain - all systems intact. Lines in palms. All future development of new life is simply that of refinement and increase in size until maturity at approximately age 23 years. This is approximately two months before "quickening" yet there is a new life with all of its parts needing only nourishment. The mother will usually not feel the child's movements until four months after conception.
15. 9th & 10th week, squints, swallows, retracts tongue.
16. 11th & 12th week, arms & legs move, sucks thumb, inhales and exhales amniotic fluid, nails appearing.
17. 16 weeks (four months), genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks and turns somersaults (STILL NOT FELT BY MOTHER).
18. 18 weeks, vocal cords working . . . can cry.
19. 20 weeks, hair appears on head; weight - one pound; height - 12 inches. A fetus (little one, child, baby) is essentially no different at fertilization, ten weeks, twenty weeks or thirty weeks. A person is a person, no matter how small.
This information sheet is available upon request from:
American Life League, Inc.
P.O. Box 1350
Stafford, VA 22555
(703) 659-2586 Fax