Tag Archives: development

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.

Fighting the good fight, the good way

by Oksana K.

A few weeks ago, one of my professors gave a lecture comparing two iconic figures of the 1980s Canadian abortion debate, one of whom was pro-life, and the other, pro-choice. His argument was that, apart from their differing stances on abortion, the two fought with the same attitudes and tactics: on the upside, both were extremely passionate, but they were also both rather arrogant, and both became lawbreakers in the pursuit of their causes. Their differences, he suggested, did not go much farther than their ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ labels. If not for that, they may as well have been the same person.

The lecture brought me to an important realization: to “outsiders looking in,” the way in which we fight against abortion may say far more about our cause than what we are actually fighting for. That idea got me thinking about my own experience as a pro-lifer.

I got involved in the pro-life movement last year, when my high school law teacher told my class that we’d have to write a position paper on a controversial issue. I chose abortion as my topic, but I didn’t know much about it at the time – I understood, vaguely, what the procedure entailed and how fetal development progressed, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to learn.

The first time I saw a photograph of an aborted child, I stared at my screen with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t get the image out of my head for weeks. The photo didn’t just leave me concerned — it left me heartbroken. Soon after, I began visiting sites like standupgirl.com to read stories of post-abortive women who looked back on their decisions with regret. Each one left me praying and grieving, and I felt an unexpected connection with these women, any of whom could have been my mother, my sister, my best friend. For the first few weeks, I immersed myself not in statistics and legal discourses about abortion, but in the names, faces, and memories of those it had touched.

As the deadline of the essay began to draw near, however, my focus shifted from caring about the people involved to winning the debate – making a bulletproof argument, convincing my classmates, winning over my teacher, and ultimately getting a good mark. I continued to stumble upon images of aborted fetuses, but I scrolled by them without a second look. I skimmed past the stories of abortion recipients, only pausing to read them when I thought they’d be of use for my project. Phrases like ‘dismemberment,’ ‘suctioned limbs,’ and ‘crushed skull’ ceased to shock me. I’d become desensitized, but that, to some extent, is natural. The troubling part was that I had began viewing these stories of victims as mere fodder for a good essay – as stories that mattered to me only insofar as they helped along my argument. I tried to seek out the most shocking statistics I could find, forgetting that one cleanly-executed abortion with no complications was just as much a tragedy as thousands with more problematic consequences.

It was only after the pressure of the deadline was past and I had a chance to reflect that I realized in my quest for making the best arguments, I’d assumed the very same attitude I that resented in the pro-choice side. To them, the 100,000 abortions that happen in Canada each year are not 100,000 unborn daughters, brothers, or cousins, but 100,000 pieces of tissue that can be removed and disposed of at will. To me, 100,000 abortions became not 100,000 people, but 100,000 chances to win a debate. In fighting against abortion, I had dehumanized the very people I was trying to prove human.

Since then, I’ve realized that, although winning is extremely important to pro-lifers, equally important is how we fight this battle. We need to set ourselves apart with more than just whether there’s a ‘life’ or a ‘choice’ suffix tagged onto the end of our ‘pro-‘ label. We need to fight in such a way that, 3 decades from now, no professor will be able to tell his class that, while our ideologies were different, our attitudes and actions were basically the same as those of the other side. And we need to remember that the strength of the love, concern, and compassion which drive our cause can speak infinitely louder than arguments of words.

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.

S.L.E.D. Part 2: Level of Development

by Garnet

It’s time for another instalment in the S.L.E.D. Test Series.  For the other articles in the series, click here.

It is often said that unborn babies are less developed than born babies, and for that reason should not be considered persons.  “It’s just a clump of cells,” people say.  Some refuse to use the term “fetus” to refer to an unborn child, preferring “blob of tissue” as a more accurate name.

This is another attempt to dehumanize the unborn, which makes abortion excusable.  If what is inside a pregnant woman is indeed simply a blob of tissue or a lump of cells, as many in the abortion trade would have women believe, then it’s no big deal to just get rid of the problem.  It would be the same as getting rid of a tumour.

How do prolifers address this?   Of course, we need to say that calling the unborn “clump of cells” is a lie. For example, right at the moment of conception, when the sperm implants the egg, that baby has a gender.  This probably sounds obvious, but some people don’t think about that fact.  Five weeks into the pregnancy, the baby’s heart begins to beat.  At this point, some women might not be 100% sure they’re pregnant!  There are so many other facts that show the humanity of an unborn child, but that will have to be another post.

We can grant the objector’s point that a one-month old unborn child is less developed than a nine-month old born child.  But how does this fact affect the personhood of this human life?  For example, a toddler is not as developed as a kindergartener.  Does that mean the kindergartener has more of a right to life than a toddler?  In fact, human beings are on a continuous line of development our entire lives.  But we do not attain more of a right to life as we develop.

The choice of the moment of birth as the defining moment where a child is valued is incredibly arbitrary.  Some babies are born after 38 weeks, some are born after 42 weeks.  Why, all of a sudden, when the baby leaves the uterus his or her mother, are they developed enough for our standards?  There must be another factor.

Stay tuned for the next instalment about Environment.