Tag Archives: the unborn

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

Happy Ending for Selfless Mom and Baby Delivered at 28 Weeks

by Marissa Poisson

From an article on a young woman who had a rare tumour growing inside her heart while pregnant:

“I decided I would have him before doing anything with me,” she said. “I wanted him to have a chance to survive before me. There was no way I would be able to do the surgery while being pregnant knowing there was a chance he would die from it.”

Not everyone felt the same way. Some family friends, a nurse in Thunder Bay, even her mother for one brief moment, thought Stout should put herself first. They intimated that Stout could always have another baby if she were healthy.

“They weren’t saying it meanly,” said Stout. “They were saying that I hadn’t met the baby yet, that I wasn’t attached. But even when I was pregnant, Bentley was my whole world. I would never choose myself over him.”

Coldhearted Calculus

by Marissa Poisson

One week ago, two major American newspapers published two very different stories. The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy examines the phenomenon of parents who select to “reduce” twins to singletons for mainly lifestyle considerations while How a D.C. area family with 11 children, ages 12 through 1, makes it work describes just that. The former features “Jenny” and her husband, who are “choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion,” though you can no more have half an abortion than you can be a little bit pregnant. (“Coin-toss abortion” is a more apt description, unless of course the parents are choosing one child over another based on their sex.) In the latter, we read about Jen and Larry Kilmer, who have welcomed their children one after another with open arms.

In reading one article after the other, I was struck by how it all came down to a matter of perspective. The parents electing to have a shot of potassium chloride injected into one or more of their healthy babies’ hearts in the article are financially stable, married and often did everything they could to become pregnant in the first place, but they want precisely one child to be born. Still, on one level they know what they are doing is wrong. “This is bad, but it’s not anywhere as bad as neglecting your child or not giving everything you can to the children you have,” says Jenny. But what does it mean to give everything you can to your children? “I feel very strongly that the best gift you can give a child is a sibling,” says Jen.

The first article states, “Whatever the particulars, these patients concluded that they lacked the resources to deal with the chaos, stereophonic screaming and exhaustion of raising twins.” Jen, on the other hand, says, “People are always asking, ‘How do you have time for yourself?’ But when you realize there’s more to life than yourself. . . I think time to yourself is overrated.” Even the author of the “reduction” piece, referring to her own situation, says, “There’s no doubt that life with twins and a third child so close in age has often felt all-consuming and out of control. And yet the thought of not having any one of them is unbearable now, because they are no longer shadowy fetuses but full-fledged human beings whom I love in a huge and aching way.” The crux of it is not the specific number of children in a family but rather that those “shadowy fetuses” are already fully human; they are the same individuals who elicit that huge and aching love.

Now that Jenny has subtracted one of her twins, she will be able to set aside twice as much money for the child who emerges from her womb alive, and it’s true that the Kilmers don’t have college funds for their children. But I have no doubt as to which family is richer. As Mother Theresa said, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

More articles on “selective reductions” here, here, here and here. To read them is to weep.

*New, heartbreaking article by a father who recently lost two of his triplets: The New Scar on My Soul

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.

“It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it.”

by Marissa Poisson

Over the weekend, I read an article that describes the writer’s experience in a Chinese village during and shortly after the birth of a baby girl. I found the whole article very moving and the following passage especially striking:

“Doing [killing] a baby girl is not a big thing around here. You city folk are shocked the first time you see it, right?” the older woman said comfortingly, obviously seeing how shocked I was.

“That’s a living child!” I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail. I was still so shocked, I didn’t dare to move.

“It’s not a child,” she corrected me.

“What do you mean, it’s not a child? I saw it.” I could scarcely believe that she could tell me such a blatant lie!

“It’s not a child. If it was, we’d be looking after it, wouldn’t we?” she interrupted. “It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it.”

“A girl baby isn’t a child, and you can’t keep it?” I repeated uncomprehendingly.

Try substituting the word “preborn” for “girl” in the above, and I think you’ll find it applies quite handily to the West. After all, killing a preborn baby cannot be a big thing around here, given the rate at which it’s done. Those unaccustomed to the practice may instinctively find it revolting, but those who have embraced modern cultural values can assure us that it’s perfectly normal. It may seem self-evident that the preborn are living children, but they must not be since we’re not looking after them.

In some cultures, girl babies don’t count if their families wanted a boy and are routinely disposed of. Here, both boy and girl preborn babies don’t count if they are deemed unwanted and are routinely disposed of. Is that the difference between the developing and developed world? Does killing earlier and without discriminating between the sexes make us any more civilized?

Marking Anniversaries

by Theresa Stephenson and Marissa Poisson

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that legalized abortion.  For Canada, January 28 will be the 23rd anniversary of a similar case, R. v. Morgentaler, in which our Supreme Court struck down the abortion law and left a legal vacuum. The Canadian case was brought by three abortionists, while the American suit was filed on behalf of a woman named Norma McCorvey, alias “Jane Roe.” Her view on abortion may surprise you:

Those two landmark cases in North American history have left a legacy of death and deception. Millions of babies have been killed in clinics and hospitals, and millions of post-abortive women have suffered the aftermath of their child’s death. When we sanction ending a preborn child’s life at any point during pregnancy, are Kermit Gosnell’s crimes not the logical extension of our society’s attitude?

Can two supposed bastions of human rights not do better in terms of respecting the most fundamental of them all? Just imagine how many of our classmates, friends and family members are not with us today because of abortion. It’s up to all of us to work towards making abortion a thing of the past.

Another Side of the Abortion Industry

by Anastasia Chvedova

Imagine opening a newspaper one day and finding a horrifying story about hundreds of people being killed each week and their bodies being sold for research and product manufacturing. Such stories often belong only in science fiction novels or movies. We know something similar happened in the Holocaust, but we don’t really expect it to happen today. However, recently I came across news that is perhaps not very far off. If anything, this information shows the lack of respect our society has for the unborn and the prevalence of the idea that they are not living persons. Prior to doing this research, I had no idea of this side of the abortion industry, and I am guessing that it is not extremely well known. Specifically, I am talking about the ways aborted fetuses are used in research, industry, and medicine.

An article recently published on LifeSiteNews.com describes the use of fetal body parts such as eyes, ears, limbs, brain and skin. Shockingly, these body parts are now an “indispensable commodity for many U.S. researchers and scientists.” They are used by the government, universities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology laboratories to produce cosmetics, food additives, and other products.

How do we know about this now? Dr. Theresa Deisher, a well-known molecular and cellular physiologist with years of experience in top pharmaceutical companies, recently gave a talk in Washington, DC, at a pro-life conference. She spoke of the “commoditizing” and “dehumanizing” treatment of unborn human beings that has occurred over the past few decades, changing the popular perception of them by suggesting they are not in fact human “like the rest of us.” I was surprised to learn that the more grown an unborn child is, the more valuable their body parts are for research – which suggests just how deeply this “dehumanization” has in fact taken root in our society.

Just how many fetuses are we talking about here? For example, “Puget Sound Business Journal discovered that the University of Washington filled out more than 4,400 requests for fresh fetal body parts from fetal tissue for the purpose of biomedical research in 2009.”

That is just one part of the story. There is another way in which fetuses are used: in vaccines. A few months ago, I (unknowingly) got vaccinated for the chickenpox. Later, I learned that viruses used in the Varivax vaccine are typically grown in cell lines derived from deliberately aborted babies! Upon learning this I was appalled and in a way felt violated, because if I had known this information, I would not have chosen to receive this vaccine. (Perhaps in this way, people should be given the “right to choose”?)

Many vaccines currently in use were developed using human cell lines, for example: VARIVAX (chickenpox), Havrix (Hep-A), VAQTA (Hep-A), Twinrix (Hep-A/Hep-B), POLIOVAX (polio), IMOVAX (rabies), MERUVAX II (rubella), M-R-VAX (measles/rubella), BIAVAX II (mumps/rubella), and M-M-R II (measles/mumps/rubella). One article I found suggests that each dose of the chickenpox vaccine contains “residual components…including DNA and protein of cells derived from the aborted baby”. Unfortunately, no alternative, pro-life substitutes currently exist for the chickenpox, Hepatitis A, and rubella vaccines.

A well-known quote says, “A society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members.” I think this information gives us even more reasons to educate people on the pro-life view and help society see what is being done to its most vulnerable persons, the unborn. After all, who is more dependent, more small and defenseless, than they are? They are unable to speak up for themselves, and all we have for their testimony are the many images of aborted babies. However, we are able to speak, and perhaps it has never been more important to do so than today. It says something when the bodies of these children are used to grow viruses and test new products like cosmetics and food additives. It somehow makes widespread abortion even more inhumane, when the unborn are being used as commodities in our industrial, commercialized age.  In my opinion, every life is valuable and irreplaceable. For this reason, researchers need to find new methods of developing vaccines, even if those methods are more costly. As pro­-lifers, we should remember what we are proclaiming: that these unborn babies have been made for something much greater – to live, to learn, to be known, to love and be loved.

A Non-Conformist Mind, A Reflective Mind

by Sophia Neppel

This fall term is already almost half over and still I find myself thinking back to the first week of classes, particularly to the table that uOSFL had during Clubs’ Week.

If I have ever experienced anything truly out of the ordinary in my university career, it has always taken place at one of our club tables. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because that is when we stand in public as pro-lifers, making ourselves available for dialogue with passersby. But that’s another set of stories for another time.

At the moment, I would like to focus on an exchange that I had with a friend that my sister brought around to our table that first week. They are both first-years, so you can imagine how exciting it must be for them to be experiencing university life for the first time: nothing would be more exhilarating than walking down the bustling pedestrian walkway, surrounded by a teeming multitude of clubs and fellow students. Surprise… stop… “hey, look, it’s my sister at a table, let’s say hi.” So they stop and she introduces us. After exchanging the words that people who meet for the first time exchange, plus a few more, he asked what the club that I was representing was about.

I proceeded to introduce him to the club and told him what we were about. He was surprised, in a reflective sort of way. I could tell that the issue of abortion was not new to him, that it had been weighed in his mind before, and that he had not yet become complacent towards it… smart kid. He said that he liked to consider abortion from two sides, the pregnant woman’s and that of the foetus she carried. He could see both perspectives and sympathize with each. He had not settled on a position: he could see how a woman could have an abortion because she found herself in a position she didn’t want to be in, but at the same time he felt sad that a life would be ended, would be no more, would never grow and experience life as others do. He was reasoning backwards, starting with what life would be like as an adult and thinking that the aborted would never have that, and it saddened him: how could a life that has come into being just be gotten rid of, undone, ended?

The exchange gave me hope because it showed me that there are young people out there, products of society (we could say), who are not conformists: they are able to reflect on highly controversial issues with an independent mind.

What’s the Difference?

by Reita S.

We live in a mixed up world. We always have. There has always been evil in this world. There always will be. But it seems to me that a large part of this evil comes from losing track of the important things in this life.

When people begin to think that their own socio-economic betterment comes above justice for their fellows, then oppression follows. When people forget that religion is meant to bring a message of peace and love, they force it on others with threats and violence. When people forget they were not destined to be kings of all the rest of the earth, then colonialism and slavery result.

Today, we think we have learned those lessons. Today, we don’t believe that anymore. (Or so we tell ourselves.) In Utah, a man faces years in prison over the (accidental) death of a kitten. Animal activist leagues are pushing for a jail term. One activist said, “I think people tend to not think of them [cats] as beings that have a soul and a nervous system. They can still feel.”

So, tell me what kind of society we are that wants to send a man to jail for the accidental death of a cat, but will applaud at the ‘woman’s right to choose’? Don’t people realise that the woman has the right to choose whether or not to kill her child?

How is it that the demonstrated living nature, genetic uniqueness, and ability to feel pain of the unborn child is brushed aside, yet the cat’s ‘soul and nervous system’ should be a compelling argument?

I don’t know why there are thousands of children languishing in inadequate foster homes and orphanages, but people will leave billions of dollars to dog shelters.

I believe strongly in responsible pet ownership. I believe in caring for animals. But at the end of the day, why is it okay to kill a human child at any point of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever, but a criminal act to harm a cat or dog? Why is the human child of such little significance? Can someone tell me the difference?

S.L.E.D. Part 4: Degree of Dependency

by Garnet

Time for the final installment in the S.L.E.D. Series.  I’ve dealt with the first three common pro-choice arguments, all attempts to dehumanize unborn children based on either size, level of development or environment, and so make abortion excusable.

The last argument has to do with the degree that the fetus is dependent on his/her mother.  Some people say that since the fetus is so dependent on his/her mother to survive, and would not survive on his/her own, the mother has no obligation to keep the fetus alive, and thus may abort it.  The fetus, they say, cannot survive on its own, so it must not have a right to life, since it can only survive as part of the mother.

This argument breaks down in a number of ways.  Unborn children are not the only human beings dependent on another for survival.  A newborn cannot survive without a caregiver.  A diabetic cannot survive without insulin.  A person with a heart condition cannot survive without a pacemaker.  Does this dependency make them less of a person?  Of course not.  Dependency is not a criterion for determining the value of life for born individuals, and it should not be applied to the unborn.

An embryo is very dependent on its mother at the beginning of pregnancy, and gets less dependent as the 40 weeks go by until it is ready to leave the comfort and warmth of the womb and face the cold, harsh reality of this world. The umbilical cord can be cut, but does this end the baby’s dependency on Mother?  No.  From what I understand, a mother’s responsibilities toward that baby grow exponentially after the baby is born.

In addition, humans continue to become less dependent on others as they get older.  Toddlers are less dependent than babies; teenagers are (read: are supposed to be) less dependent on parents than toddlers; adults are less dependent than teenagers.  So the trend of a lessened dependency begins in the womb and continues throughout life long after birth.  Birth, actually, is quite an arbitrary point to say that babies are sufficiently independent to be given rights as persons.  Often at the end of life, elderly people become more and more dependent on others, but this does not take away their right to life.

Essentially the argument to say the unborn have no right to life because of its dependency is age discrimination, and should not be tolerated.