The Preborn Child and Biology
Rev. Robert Fleischmann, National Director, Christian Life Resources
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13,14)
The preborn child that began at fertilization undergoes an incredible biological maturation leading to the exit from the womb in nine months. The biological maturing, however, continues until the very end of life.
There is a philosophical question that goes like this: “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The question provokes thoughts about the meaning and significance of existence and the relative nature to reality. In other words, it is a lot of talk that often results in tired jaws, a headache, but not much more. The question, however, begs a more pertinent question when considering the preborn child.
“If you do not see the preborn child, can it really be human?” After abortion was legalized in the United States in January 1973 this issue became central in heated debates. Abortion advocates observed then that religion and science really did not know for sure if that preborn child was a human life or simply a parasitical grown within a mother – a blob of tissue or part of her body.
A lot has happened since then. Human biology has been incredibly revealing. The first trimester alone is an incredible testimony to the humanness of the preborn child:
One-of-a-Kind – DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Every person has a unique DNA which is why you see an increased use of DNA testing at crime scenes. That unique DNA becomes yours at fertilization.
What about twins? Even identical twins are not identical. Yes, they do share identical DNA, but the “expression” of that DNA is affected by the complex interactions of our environment as we develop. That is why two identical twins, sharing the same DNA, have different fingerprints. Even an identical twin is unique.
Gender – When that sperm and egg met at fertilization, your gender as a male or female was determined.
Before that embryo even implanted into the lining of the uterine wall you had your unique DNA and your gender. Your characteristics were already in place. Now would begin the maturing process.
25 Days – Your body was forming. Albeit very tiny, you were developing your head, arms and legs.
30 Days – You were only a quarter inch long (a little over six millimeters). Your brain was taking shape. You had eyes, ears, a mouth, kidneys, liver and an umbilical cord, and your heart was already pumping blood you had made yourself.
35 Days – If something touched your mouth you twitched. By 49 days touching any area of your face caused a reaction. By 72 days you noticed if something touched the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.
40 Days – Electro-encephalograph (EEG) readings would show your brain was active.
45 Days – Although you don’t have bones you do have cartilage (kind of like “soft bones”). You actually began moving on your own, but because you are so small, your mother did not feel it yet.
49 Days – Remember those fingerprints that even make identical twins different from each other? You’ve got them at 49 days into the pregnancy. Obviously, your fingers are well along, as well as your toes.
56 Days – Those “soft bones” begin to turn into regular bones in your body. This process continues after you are born. Remember how your mother wanted you to be careful about touching the top of a newborn’s head? That bone still hardens after birth.
All of this development is happening, and you have only been in the womb for two months. Each day you continue to mature. In fact, someone once said that the only difference between you in the womb and you outside of the womb is location. You are always maturing and changing.
The biological evidence for the humanity of the unborn child is undeniable, and advocates of abortion rights now admit it. At one time they argued for abortion “because we don’t know when life begins.” Now they argue it is a necessary evil to preserve a woman’s right to make decisions.
Approximately 55% of abortions occur by the 56th day of a pregnancy. Another 23% occur by the 70th day. By the 84th day of a pregnancy another 11% of abortions occur. Simply put, about 89% of the nearly 1.3 million abortions that occur in the United States each year happen when the preborn child is less than 84 days old. The biology is clear – in an abortion a baby dies.
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