After watching a clip of SB9 proceedings and hearing one of the opposition talk about her abortion (saying the baby she aborted didn’t have a face or a heartbeat and was just a clump of cells and tissue), I wanted to fact check whether a fetus was indeed a human with the possibility of life if allowed to continue it’s development in the womb.
I thought I would try to see things from these people’s perspective – at least check the science. I read an article that stated whether a fertilized egg was in fact a human being was a question that couldn’t be answered better than by an embryologist. Thus began my quest. It was a little hard to find anything that would give a scientific answer because most of what I found was biased or based on morals. I guess I could have looked in a biology textbook or something, but I did my best with what I had – good ole internet.
I found that embryologists have been tracking sex-ratio and sex-trajectory in embryonic cells even as early as 5-6 days. They can tell whether a (non-face having, non-heartbeat showing) cluster of cells would have been a male or female. That was my number one obvious scientific proof that “a person’s a person no matter how small” (thank you Dr. Suess). It also helped solidify my already-strong belief in sex/gender being assigned in the womb/at conception. Read the abstract here at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America site (science-y, yeah?): https://www.pnas.org/content/112/16/E2102.abstract
If you’ve gone through sex-ed, you know a fertilized egg has a mix of the male and female DNA which forms the very make-up of the baby. You also probably know that a zygote’s genome is a combination of the DNA and has all the genetic information to create a new individual. But, if that’s not enough, I also read that five days after fertilization, an embryo has 100-200 cells already and increasing all the time. It’s at this stage that the embryo can be tested for genetic mutations and so on. All this can be seen before the woman even knows she’s pregnant. So, before a woman knows she’s truly pregnant, five days after conception even, science could tell her whether the embryo will have a mitochondrial disease or be a potentially healthy baby. For more information on a day-in-the-life of an embryologist, read: https://www.coopergenomics.com/blog/during-ivf/embryologist-interview/
Finally, I found a story about a woman who had several miscarriages and lost two children (a less than 1 yo and 6 yo) from a mitochondrial disease she was a carrier of (Leigh’s Syndrome). She didn’t have any symptoms and neither did her husband. Her sister and brother died from the disease and her surviving sister had two children die from it as well. Horrifying disease. This woman went for assistance in having a healthy baby. She learned she would need a donor for a mitochondrial transfer so she and her husband could have a baby without the fatal disease. Due to religious reasons, she refused to interrupt a zygote – a joined together mommy and daddy cell. Basically, she refused to kill a healthy possible future child (and I’m tearing up as I write this because it’s such a monumental choice). I believe God blessed her because of this decision.
They did the transfer, and made sure while doing the transfer that the baby would be a boy (to stop the cycle of the disease from continuing in her family line). The baby is a now a healthy 7-month old boy with no sign of the disease. Here’s the article from April 2017 on Reproductive Biomedicine Online: https://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(17)30041-X/fulltext
I know this is a lot of information, but I think it’s important to really look into this kind of thing. If you believe one way, make sure you know why you believe that and can answer to anyone who asks. All this searching led me to be more sure of my stance. Those who say the fetus isn’t a baby are playing with semantics. That “clump of cells and tissues” as the girl opposing SB9 called it would have become a fully-formed human individual that had some of her quirks and appearance. That woman needs psychological help and maybe a biology class or two.
I am pro-life. No exceptions, no excuses, no bull-malarkey. #babieslivesmatter