Category Archives: fetal development

Personhood: Why All Human Beings Qualify

by Marissa Poisson

 

From our neighbours to the south at Abort73:

There have been at least two other instances in American history in which specific groups of human beings were stripped of their rights of personhood as a means of justifying horrific mistreatment. African-Americans and Native-Americans both felt the brunt of a system which tried to create the artificial classification: human, non-person. This distinction wasn’t based on an honest evaluation of the evidence, but with an eye towards justifying a specific action. In the case of Native-Americans, they had land. In the case of African-Americans, they had labor. Classifying them as non-persons (even property) provided a moral framework for those in power to forcefully take what they wanted without compensation. Today, “unwanted,” unborn children don’t hold anything as tangible as land or labor, but their claims on those who would eliminate them are no less significant. They stand in the way of an unencumbered, more self-absorbed lifestyle. Once again, this notion that human beings can be classified as “non-persons” is not built on an objective assessment of the facts, but with an eye towards justifying abortion.

Check out the poster on the right about the denial of personhood from NCLN.

Another Cool Pre-Natal Development Video

by Dante De Luca

This presentation is not really pro-life per se. However, it is an excellent reminder of what we’re fighting for and why it’s worth the fight, and plus it’s presented by a mathematician. 😀

Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_tsiaras_conception_to_birth_visualized.html

Face Development in the Womb

by Dante De Luca

Here is a video that is currently trending on YouTube. It is from the BBC series Inside the Human Body featuring Michael Mosley, and it shows a CGI animation of how the human face develops between the second and third month of gestation.
Unfortunately the whole episode is not available for viewing in Canada as far as I can tell, but if you are in the UK you can watch it here. I think you may also be able to download it from there, even if you are not in the UK.

Views on Abortion

by Marissa Poisson

I don’t watch The View, but I stumbled across a clip from Monday’s show. It raises interesting questions about technology’s role in the pro-life movement and how women’s feelings about their abortions may change after some years have passed.

Save the Babies!… but only sometimes

by Amanda Hennessey

At the beginning of the summer I had to renew my First Aid and CPR training. Those who have taken these courses know that when someone needs first aid you have to take into different factors. For instance, if someone is choking and cannot make any noise (full blockage) you should administer abdominal thrusts (formally known as the Heimlich maneuver). This is when you scope your hands, in a J-motion, into the person’s abdomen in order to dislodge the object. The factors which change how you should do this are: if the person is very short or a child (get on your knees), if the person is taller than you (get them to go down on their knees), or the person is obese or pregnant. In this last instance what you are supposed to do is do chest compressions, but what if the person has an open wound on their chest and it is impossible to do chest compressions? The instructor gently put it that, “without the mom there can be no baby” or rather that the child cannot survive if the mother does not survive. We would just have to do the best we could. The pregnant situation came up a few other times in CPR as well as in using the defibrillator. Ever time without fail someone would ask questions about the unborn child: if the treatment would hurt the baby, where should we compress so as not to hurt the child, etc… The instructor had an alternative places where we could do compressions or place the pads of the deliberator, but she would also reiterate the phrase, “no mom, no baby.”

I completely agree with what the instructor had to say; it is true that in situations like these we should do our best. I am also happy that those in my class were so concerned about these hypothetical babies. What did get me thinking is: would their points of view change if they knew that this hypothetical mother got into her accident on her way to an abortion clinic?

What makes some babies worth worrying for and others not? Is it just that some are wanted versus others that are not? Or that we are not sure that they are wanted? Or that we are afraid to get sued if we save the mom and kill the baby…?

My CPR class made me frustrated in this regard because to me in seems so illogical that many can care about saving these hypothetical babies and yet in reality these same people support the “freedom of choice” enabling mothers to terminate their children.

I’m a Person: Inside and Out

by Theresa Stephenson

A couple, friends of my family, are expecting their first child. With excitement, I have been shown ultrasound photos and told about the baby kicking and moving. At one of their first ultrasound appointments, the technician explained that the baby was sleeping. What a human characteristic! How incredible, that while still in the protection of the mother’s womb, a tiny life is able to move, to kick, to sleep, to dream, to listen. Yet despite all of these amazing, miraculous things that an unborn baby is able to do, Canadian law does not outline any restrictions for abortion. Abortion is legal during all nine months of pregnancy for any and every reason.

But, tell me, what is the difference between a sleeping child who lies inside his or her mother and one who lies in his or her mother’s cradling arms? Tell me, what is the difference between a baby who listens to sounds and murmurs of his or her parents’ voices while cocooned inside the womb and one who hears the sweet lullaby of his or her mother while lying in a crib? The difference is that one baby is “inside” and the other is “out”.

However, I would like to make the bold claim that in either case that human life is indeed a person. We have posted arguments that personhood should not be based on 1) size 2) level of development 3) environment and 4) degree dependency . Rights and liberties must be granted for all human beings regardless of the factors outlined above and any infringement of these rights is a heinous injustice.

We at uOttawa Students for Life fight against these violations and work to bring an end to abortion.

Snowflake Babies

by Reita S.

Imagine a couple, unable to conceive a child. They consider adoption, but they want to badly to give birth to something that is a ‘part of themselves’. After consultation with their doctor, they undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process which harvests eggs from the woman’s ovaries and fertilizes them in the lab with collected sperm. While the mother undergoes treatments which boost the receptivity of her uterus, these fertilized eggs are cultured in a lab and, while still about 100 cells each and undifferentiated, implanted into the woman’s womb. How great is her joy when she discovers she is finally going to be a mother!

Sadly, IVF doesn’t produce only one or two of these embryos. It may produce one hundred. It may have a woman implant 20 of these embryos, since all will not survive the process. It may lead her to undergo a selective abortion to reduce the number of babies she carries. But it also produces leftover embryos, cryogenically frozen until the parents decide to use them. They may never make this decision.

These frozen embryos, “snowflake babies”, have an extensive ‘shelf-life’. They may spend years in stasis, waiting to be implanted into someone’s womb. They may be discarded by their parents and used in embryonic stem-cell research. They may be thrown out. There are an estimated 500,000 frozen embryos in the United States right now.

“Snowflake baby” is a term you likely haven’t heard. I know I’ve only read about it – never discussed the matter with anyone, even at a pro-life function; however, some dedicated pro-lifers have clearly seen this as a problem. They decided to adopt the snowflake babies.

Embryo adoption allows the implantation of the child into the womb of the adopting mother. It is a safe process, far less expensive than an overseas adoption, and provides that coveted ‘experience of pregnancy’. What’s more is the opportunity to allow a child a chance to LIVE, rather than to sit in a refrigerator until it ‘expires’, a process which shows that even children, even LIFE, has become a commodity to our culture.

Ottawa Students for Life has a very catchy mandate, if I may say that. We are committed to “defend the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death”. Unfortunately, the issue of conception is a touchy one in our culture, with arguments advocating for anywhere from fertilization or implantation to the first trimester or birth. This can be a divisive line, even within the pro-life community; however, I challenge you, dear readers, to consider the plight of every “snowflake baby” and then try to tell yourself that it is not alive.

If you have ever considered adoption, please remember every “snowflake baby”, a tiny unborn child who needs your body and your love in order to take a single breath.

For more information, please visit:

Nightlight Christian Adoption Snowflakes Program

Embryo Adoption

Embryos Alive Adoption Agency

Changing the Rhetoric

by Reita S.

When I was about 7 years old, I learnt all about cells from TV. I suspect it was either Bill Nye the Science Guy or Magic School Bus. Using Lego or blocks or grains of rice, they demonstrated that all living things are made of little pieces. Every person is composed of three trillion cells, if I recall correctly, and cells die and replace themselves at different rates.

All this to say that from a very young age, educational programming taught me that, at my basic level, I am a mass of cells. The same TV shows also explained that I had something called DNA, which was rather like a zipper or a ladder. (They knew from the start I would never be a scientist.) Apparently my DNA wasn’t like anyone else’s, unless of course I was an identical twin, which I’m not.

So, to recap, I am a bunch of cells, several trillion, all with unique roles and life spans, and I am also genetically unique from everyone else in the world (except potential evil twins).

Why then is the pro-choice cry so often “the foetus is just a clump of cells”? Simple: dehumanization. My roommate and I recently had a discussion about meat. Though she loves fish, she is unable to go purchase a whole fish from the store. Why? She can’t eat “something with a face”; however, fillet that fish and serve it to her and she’ll eat it happily!

In the same way, saying abortion kills an unborn child (which it does) is “eating the animal with the face”. You feel guilty because you feel empathy for the child. You know that it had to suffer and that it had to die. You are angry at the injustice when you remember every child you ever held.

Getting rid of the “unwanted clump of cells” is having your fish and chips. You are totally divorced from action that produced your desired outcome – you don’t feel guilty because there was never anything real to convict you.

This is an issue of rhetorical double-talk. Pro-choice activists and abortion clinics have convinced the public that the foetus is practically a non-living thing. It is a package of parts which can be assembled at birth, if the mother so chooses, to create a ‘real child’.

Rhetoric’s purpose is to persuade. Rhetoric’s goal should be to persuade people of the truth. Don’t be fooled by pro-choice rhetoric, which seeks to validate its own position by redefining simple biology. From the moment you are conceived to the moment you die, you are “a clump of cells”. Does that mean you deserve life any less?

For more information, please see this interesting post by John Sutherland at http://www.johnonlife.blogspot.com.

Objective Personhood

by Theresa Stephenson

It amazes me how subjective our view of the “unborn” is and how quickly it changes according to our circumstances.Think of a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy that eagerly tells all her friends that she is expecting a baby. Generally, her friends respond with excited congratulations! Now, think of a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy that fears the reality of a baby, keeps her pregnancy a secret, and considers abortion as a “way out.” Notwithstanding any details regarding the lives of the mothers, the major difference between these two situations is being “wanted”. The first baby is perceived by the mother to be a blessing while the second baby is perceived to be a burden. But does personhood depend upon the perception of another (in this case a mother)?

A woman in Kentucky is being charged for “endangering the life of her unborn baby by using cocaine while pregnant”. The Grand Jury of Franklin County concluded that the mother’s drug use wantonly endangered her unborn child. The Jury’s decision was objective: it did not assign value to the fetus according to the mother’s perception of her child’s personhood. Read the full story at LifeSiteNews.com.

It is wonderful that this baby’s rights are being defended. But what makes this child different from every other innocent life that is ended by abortion?