Biology for Life

by David Beking

As a new year begins, OSFL and others will continue to passionately give a voice to the unborn. But why? What is the justification for this passion and what keeps this group going? Personally, I have spent the past four years in a health sciences program at the University in which we have focused on the biology of fetal development and the fragility of those lives.

Let’s consider a few questions: How do we define at what stage life begins and whether this fetus is a living being or just a blob of tissue? Do we define a human life by our unique DNA different from every other person? How about when the heart starts beating or when the brain is developed and can sense pain?

From Day 1 the fetus begins cell division and has all the unique DNA that will define them as a unique human being. At 18-21 days (just 3 weeks in to the pregnancy) the heart starts beating and circulating blood throughout the body. At 18 days their brain also starts developing and at day 20 they already have a mid, fore and hindbrain. By 4-5 weeks neural receptors begin to develop which gives them the ability to not only feel pain but to also sense touch, heat, light and noise. All of these characteristics that define us as humans develop in the first 4 weeks, so how can a fetus not be considered human? How can they not be given the same rights to life as we enjoy?

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