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When do you think human life begins?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 19, 2005

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Photo of Ely Fair

“I’d say the moment of quickening, when the heart starts pumping.”

Photo of Kimberly Holdberg

“I would have to say in the second trimester, when there is more significant brain development and less chance of a miscarriage.”

Photo of Ryan Haga

“That’s for people to decide for themselves. It’s their value judgment. It’s too much of a philosophical question to answer definitively.”

Photo of Katina Apel

“A little while after conception. Probably about four weeks. If not, there would be a death every time a zygote developed and a women had her period.”

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Comments

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

mari, 16,000 abortions because of rape and incest? that equates to .01 of all abortions in the united states last year, using the 1.4 Million abortions performed.

sunflower sue, i don't think you got my point. i was correlating the fact that people have dehumanized unborn children into being non-humans to justify their actions. just as the jews, the handicapped (in Nazi germany), the blacks during slavery and many others throughout history. thus my question, when do you consider a human to be a person? of course they are persons at conception (in my book).

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LawrenceMommy 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree it was nice to have a "real" question, for a change. Instead of "What's your favorite color of M&M's?" or something equally stupid.

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LawrenceMommy 8 years, 8 months ago

My opinion...human life begins at conception. I do not believe abortion should be legal, but I do have some moral exceptions.

My philosophy is simple...the "choice" is to engage in an activity that can result in pregnancy. I would hope that I would not have an abortion if, God forbid, I were ever raped, but I could never ask or demand a woman carry a baby that was the result of a violent crime against her. She did not "choose" to have sex so she should not have to bear the burden of the result. Unless I was in that horrific situation I can not say with certainty that I would have the strength to carry the baby to term. I believe the same when a woman's life (not health...meaning "mental health", in most cases) is endangered. No woman should be forced to sacrifice her life for her unborn child's. That is a decision that must be left to her.

In any other case, when the choice was made to have sex, I believe the right to choice ends there. No one knows, beyond a doubt, at what point unborn children can think, feel, and survive on their own...that point has gotten earlier and earlier during pregnancy as medicine has advanced. As a nursing student in the NICU, I have been witness to a 22 week old baby, smaller than a can of Coke, survive and thrive, with NOT A SINGLE permanent birth-defect. That was believed impossible just 10 years ago.

I can't speak for everyone else's experiences, but I know that my baby was alive inside of me as I felt her kicking and squirming at just 16 weeks and then hiccuping and moving to music a couple of months later. It's up to God to determine life. We just do a poor job of trying to interpret it, IMO.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

e_m, I thought about getting a Mercury Retrograde, but went with the Ford Taurus. Best car I ever owned.

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

A recently fertilized egg wll NOT survive without nutrients from the placenta via the mother's bloodstream, therefore, life has been established. To destroy this egg is murder, period unless of course we decide that taken another life is not murder.

Abortion is just a simply means of birth control.

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trueninetiesgirl 8 years, 8 months ago

thanks even money for the up date

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Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 8 months ago

I have read all of the posts today and a few things stand out. One is the amount of anger toward women who have abortions, particularly those who have not learned to change their ways after one unplanned pregnancy. Another is the complete lack of any mention of men's roles other than as a loving father of a wanted baby.

Instead of judging those who have abortions based upon the stereotypes or the few who speak up or are spoken about, consider:

Nearly half of the women who have abortions consider themselves pro-life, some even picketing clinics . Catholics and Evangelical Protestants alike have abortions. More than half of the women who have abortions have had at least one other child. A third have household incomes below $11,000.

On average, 16,000 abortions every year in the US are performed as the result of rape and incest.

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

I posted a silly song which the LJW rules prohibit due to it being copyrighted material.

The songs I posted links to yesterday were also bound by copyright but nobody batted an eyelash.

Mercury must be retrograde?

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trueninetiesgirl 8 years, 8 months ago

even-money what did you say that was so wrong to be removed???

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

Well, I notice my post of 9:45 this morning was aborted.

Good thing these folks are 'journalists' and not doctors.

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smartypants 8 years, 8 months ago

Willa: I also know several women/young women who have had multiple abortions, hence the reason for my comment. My concern is with the women that unlike Merrill just described above have no remorse or emotional upset following one or more abortions. I cannot fathom how it wouldn't be upsetting at all even if they believe they made the best decision for themselves.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Abortion is simply not an easy decision for most women and it is usually accompanied by a tremendous amount of emotional and physical trauma...wouldn't want to be there.

Obviously if there was a definite conclusion this likely would not be a question.

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 8 months ago

Ceallach, right you are on your definitions of "mother". And thanks, my babe seems to be doing well. (Snoozing again)

redmorgan, I hope I didn't imply that I was condemning anyone. Remember, I said that I used to be pro-choice. I understand all the arguements because I USED to believe them myself. I, however, do not condemn people simply because they do not believe what I believe. I simply think (now) that it's wrong to abort.

Let me tell you that I have a brother with a severe disability. My mother, at 73 (4 children and widowed for 35 years), is still his full time caregiver. Before I got pregnant, I researched his illness to see if there was any chance that I could pass this on to my children. I felt confident that the odds were very slim. I've had 2 pregnancies and now have 2 beautiful (and healthy) children. However, if I had found out (during pregnancy) that they were afflicted, I would have cried my eyes out and then bucked up for the long haul I knew I'd be in for. I made that decision FIRST.

Funny that now I'm planning to move my Mom and bro here to help take care of them. Our lives seldom turn out how we plan but I do think it's our responsibility to make the most of what we are given...whatever that may be...planned or not. But, no. No judgements here.

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Gootsie 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm more worried about your motorcycle than I am your head, you know. The motorcycle would get dented in hail.

haha

by Gootsie's evil twin Goopsie

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consumer1 8 years, 8 months ago

Gootsie, I am on my motor cycle. That should make princess happy.

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willa 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, all, for your input. And, yes, it looks uglier and uglier by the minute in West Lawrence.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Radar looks danged ugly for you guys. Be safe.

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redmorgan 8 years, 8 months ago

Sunflower_Sue: I absolutely agree with you in that my opinion on abortion also did a 180 when, several years back, I discovered that I was expecting an unplanned baby. I thought about my options, and I just could not bring myself to have an abortion; it just felt inherently evil to me (probably because it is). I had my child and am thankful everyday that I have him... he is the reason for everything I do. But, I also had a friend who had an abortion. I didn't understand it, but I did not condemn her. You really have to be in that situation for yourself to understand how awful the decision is. But still, I agree that life begins at conception, and I would no more have an abortion than I would kill my child now... it's the same thing to me.

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Gootsie 8 years, 8 months ago

acg, hailing badly? I have to drive home from KC.

Good job everyone here today. David Ryan will be pleased!

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acg 8 years, 8 months ago

TOB I'm also amazed and proud of how civil everyone was towards each other today, especially considering this is a particulary inflammatory topic. Willa, I've known two girls who have had 3 or more abortions a piece. I find it disgusting. Yes women use abortion as birth control, unfortunately. It's hailing here in Topeka, btw, folks, it's headed your way!

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Let me clarify... it's not like every woman I know is a slut. Off the top of my head... 4 girls in high school had 2 of which one had 4!!! Small town. Everyone knows. In college, 2 of my buddies got their respective girlfriends pregnant 3 times with abortions following. And then a neighbor. I happily say I was not involved in any. But there is definately women out there that can't be convinced birth control is a bit easier to deal with than abortions.

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willa 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, TOB. It seems hard to believe that a woman would put her body through that that often. I always hear that phrase thrown around as if there are hordes of women having abortions constantly and yet I never actually knew one who did. I still throw myself into the pro-abortion ring, fully admitting there are slimy people mixed in with all the good ones on either side of the argument.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

willa - I've known many women that have had multiple abortions. Most were high schoolmates, but I've known women in college also (no time for baby... must study... and have repeated unprotected sex.) I won't even get into it. It's one of the reasons I can't fully throw myself in the pro-abortion ring.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm amazed by 3 things today...

  1. The civility of the board on such a devicise topic.

  2. How many people, like myself, have not made a definitve choice in the matter. The media makes it out as if there are 2 sides... Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion (well, they call it Pro-Choice). As with anything, there are never 2 definitive sides.

  3. How many people on this board are either pregnant or have a wife that is pregnant. If my wife already wasn't pregnant, I'd be very careful, but alas, too late.

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willa 8 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps I'm enormously out of the loop, but does anyone actually know a person who has had "multiple abortions as a form of birth control"? I know one woman who has had one single abortion. The terms we use to discuss this seem pretty inaccurate to me...

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Redneckgal 8 years, 8 months ago

neopolss..You are one sick puppy. I just don't even know what else to say

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smartypants 8 years, 8 months ago

I too am pregnant and life definitely starts at conception. Once I saw the positive results on that stick, everything changed. The baby was immediately real to me. It's not like anyone is oblivious these days to how a pregnancy happens. The way that so many women have multiple abortions as a form of birth control is amazing to me.

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Ceallach 8 years, 8 months ago

sunflower_sue: I absolutely do agree with you about the loving and rearing of children as a definition of motherhood. I was taking exception to the term mother being used as "the mother decided to terminate the pregnancy." I also respect women who allow a child to be born, even when they feel they must, for whatever reason, allow someone else to adopt the baby. I think they earn the title birth mother.

Hope your little one recovers quickly.

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neopolss 8 years, 8 months ago

Why is abortion only limited to pre-birth? I find it a great way of making the kids behave.

"Billy, knock it off, or I'll jam these scissors right into your skull!"

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 8 months ago

Liberty, Thank you for Jeremaih 1:5. I remembered that earlier but don't know my Bible well enough to find where it is. :)

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zbarf 8 years, 8 months ago

WOW...this is Lawrence.

I would of thought 75% of these posts would be Choice period (Birth or after).

Maybe things are changing in this country and people are waking up to the Choice Lie.

My poll question is simple....What would you do with your own unwanted pregnancy?

I bet I know the results and these results may change the way we do things in America. No one wants to be on the wrong side of an issue, and we all look to our fellow man/woman for guidance in life's issues.

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 8 months ago

As for when human life begins...my opinion on abortion did a 180* when I became pregnant with my first child. A baby is never wrong, even when the timing couldn't be worse. I (and my hubby) wouldn't be here today if our Mothers had decided to abort us because of bad timing.

Life begins at conception. I'm taking care of my youngest (who had her tonsils out this morning) and I know that I would gladly die for her. I now can't imagine the person that I once was who called herself "pro-choice".

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go lay down with my "little bundle of cells" and thank God that my life turned out sooooo differently than I had planned!

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 8 months ago

Lunacy, Humans are born with disabilities everyday. Are they any less a person? I think not.

Ceallach, I agree with you except on one point. I don't think carrying a child and giving birth makes you a mother. RAISING that child makes you a Mother, regardless of whether you birthed him/her or not (I think you probably agree with that)

AbsolutelyR, I think you are wrong about the pill. I believe it prevents eggs from being released...not from being implanted. I'm 98% sure on this.

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Brian_Peppers 8 years, 8 months ago

I have a pet tumor... I also have a girlfriend that is slowly turning into one.

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Liberty 8 years, 8 months ago

At conception.

What God thinks about when life begins:

Isaiah 44:2 & 24

"This is what the Lord says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen... This is what the Lord says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself..."

Psalm 139:13-16

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Isaiah 46:3-4

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

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John Spencer 8 years, 8 months ago

Tumors are living things too, but we remove them all the time. They are growing, living, taking on nutrients. Tumors stop masturbation to. GOD SAVE THE TUMORS!!!

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imagold 8 years, 8 months ago

RE: nlf78: "If you don't want to accept your gift, then please consider the families who are trying to adopt!"

Children most certainly are a gift and my opinion is if these women are not ready to open that gift, then keep it in the wrapping paper...if you get my drift...until you are ready. Don't use abortion as a return policy because it "doesn't fit" your lifestyle or because it accidentally ended up in your "cart".

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lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

To put it in perspective, here is an excerpt from a letter written by Ted Kennedy 34 years ago. Oh, how times have changed.

"While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

On the question of the individual's freedom of choice there are easily available birth control methods and information which women may employ to prevent or postpone pregnancy. But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception."

......TODAY Mr. Kennedy champions the right of a doctor to jam a scissor into the skull of an infant who is 80-percent born. history will look back at this era and recognize that he didn't care enough about human beings to take responsibility for children from the very moment of conception.

.....what does history say about the so-called "sub-humans" ie.: the Jews (during WWII), the African Americans (during the slavery period)...etc., etc.?

the question should have been:

When do you consider a human to be a person?

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craigers 8 years, 8 months ago

What are you talking about Brian_Peppers?

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Brian_Peppers 8 years, 8 months ago

somewhere after the the top of the babys head comes out of the womb, yet before its brain is sucked out with a vacume.

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nomorebobsplease 8 years, 8 months ago

Great comments and it's good to see so many well written and thought provoking postings. Pro choice but with limitations. Anything after the first trimester is should be for medical considerations only. The money Kline is spending in legal fees could go for helping to establish a better system to inform women of their choices and help support (yes financially in part, but also emotionally/mentally) those women so adoption of thier unwanted child would become a viable soloution. I have 5 kids-4 I have raised/am raising. The first adopted to a wonderful couple. My CHOICE.

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Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 8 months ago

There's a commercial about why was it not a baby when I didn't want it but it is a baby because I do want it - or somesuch - you get the drift. That IS exactly the answer - it's the old "roses or weeds" question. If roses become overgrown in a wheatfield, they are weeds. In a formal garden, the rose is a flower. But, dandelions are beautiful flowers, too - unless they are taking over your lawn and destroying the grass that you want to grow there.

If the fetus will be a child that you want, it's real and alive the second you know about it. If the fetus is some THING that will ruin whatever you value in your life, it's not real and if allowed to become live, what kind of a life will "it" have? The Quality of ALL the lives involved are what must be weighed. In case you haven't noticed, there are very few perfect realities in anyone's life. Each day, in addition to making choices that affect our lives, events occur that affect our lives.

Sometimes irresponsible people do irresponsible things. And, sometimes responsible people make mistakes. In both of those cases, why should an innocent, potential person, be forced to suffer for it???

I agree that in general two "wrongs" don't make a right. But, there are some times when all the assumed, accepted "rights" in the world, will never correct something that is already "wrong". There ARE gray areas - and those we should let the individuals deal with as THEY will and find something we CAN do something about and that IS our own business.

The only thing worse than not being able to conceive a baby is conceiving a baby that is not wanted. I know about adoption and am a big believer in it for those babies that are already here, but MOST of them should NEVER have been conceived in the first place and MANY of them should not have had to suffer the painful "life" that they are forced to because someone didn't have the courage to keep it from happening. Those that could prevent the pain are more comfortable in just letting it happen because it would be "wrong" to stop it. They avoid the pain, but pass it on. That's very, very cowardly.

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absolutelyridiculous 8 years, 8 months ago

This is easy! Funny how we rely on science so much that we've even start to question it! When one decides you have sex (ah, the intended purpose of what scientist like to call our reproductive organs) then you open yourself up to BEGINNING a new life. That MOMENT starts at conception. The pill is abortive since it does not allow the living fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. Abortion mutilates living, growing cells. Why is this so hard to understand? Forgive me, I forgot relativism is alive and well!

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Ceallach 8 years, 8 months ago

Tresspasser? Most pregnancies result from careless or unprotected sex. When people engage in that type of irresponsible sexual relations they are inviting pregnancy. The child did not sneak in, or force it's way it, it did not wander in -- he/she was invited, by it's parents.

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canyon_wren 8 years, 8 months ago

What great comments--whether I agree with all of them or not. Enochville (I LOVED your "rhetoric"!) and acg--you both put it into words so well--so did TOB and many others.

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

I hear you both. Big ten four.

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enochville 8 years, 8 months ago

e_m: I was countering jrlii's analogy. The womb is not a prison, and the child is certainly not trespassing.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

E_M - If this was pre-Mass Delete day I'd have all sorts of stupid things to say. As it is, I'm not sure prison is the best analogy.

Also, why is this issue being reduced to analogies? It's a straightfoward topic that happens to have may different opinions. In other words, everyone understands the topic, we don't need our hands held.

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

You did not create him. And why would you suggest the human body is a prison?

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enochville 8 years, 8 months ago

Tresspasser? You created him in prison.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"An unwanted embryo/fetus is a trespasser." Jrilii.

Then lock the door (contraception). That usually keeps trespasser's out.

Trespasser? Squatter's rights? That's the exact rhetoric that give pro-abortionists (like me sort of) a bad name.

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

Jrlii, you are a beacon in the fog. Great analogy!

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Libcon 8 years, 8 months ago

I am an independent and usually go to the left. But with my wife being 8 months pregnant, you know that "life" starts well before birth or the second trimester.

Once you realize there is person being devolped you become attached and know that life starts well before birth.

My new son is a person right now, and could survive, if he came out today. It doesn't mean he isn't a person.

I don't make people believe what I do, but when a baby is born, he or she should be considered roughly nine months old.

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jrlii 8 years, 8 months ago

My take on this follows property law:

A woman owns her womb.

An unwanted embryo/fetus is a trespasser.

I recon that by time the quickening takes place (when the fetus starts kicking, at about the fifth month) it has established squatter's rights.

Up until that time it may be evicted at the womb owner's discretion. Tough toenails if the trespasser cannot live on his own.

Third trimester abortions should not be acceptable unless there is no other way to save the woman's life.

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enochville 8 years, 8 months ago

I like to say something in response to the argument that pro-lifers are forcing their beliefs on everyone else. Purporters of that argument say choose for yourself, but don't choose for me. Well, aren't those who abort forcing their beliefs on their unborn child? They are doing more than that, they are enforcing their beliefs through murder.

For those who believe abortion is killing a human being, it becomes them to protest it and try to prevent it through legal means as passionately as you would any other murder. Furthermore, for those who believe in the God of Abraham, God has required us preach the commandments and repentance to others or we may be held responsible for their sins.

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Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 8 months ago

Consider:

Up to 3/4 of all conceptions fail to make it to birth, many before or shortly after implantation.

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acg 8 years, 8 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS Adam, wasn't that the most wonderful/scary/awe inspiring feeling in the world? Nothing can ever prepare you for that fast little whooshing sound that indicates that there's a little person in there growing and developing. Just wait til the sonograms start and you can see him/her. It'll blow your mind. Let me suggest, also, if you can swing it financially, that you opt for the 3-D sonogram, too. It's worth every penny to see such a clear image of your child. :)

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1derer 8 years, 8 months ago

acg, you are maturing just fine. Rule of thumb:

If you aren't liberal by the time you turn twenty, you have no heart.

If you aren't conservative by the time you turn 40, you have no brain.

%% it's a joke people, breath in, breath out!

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

enochville, with the exception of two sentences, "We don't all agree on what is truth. I respect that each of us are free to believe as we want."

Otherwise, pure rhetoric.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Crazy. My wife is pregant with #1 right now also.

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Adam 8 years, 8 months ago

In the past I would have said at birth, but after hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time at the doctor yesterday now I have a different outlook on this matter. Nice timing LJW

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

acg, you are so right on. No matter whether one considers oneself to be a conservative or liberal, this issue demands to be considered on a situation-by-situation basis and considered with the utmost care.

You're going to really dig being a loving parent :)

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

No, ACG. You are not turning into a conservative. This matter in no way should be political. But politicians have done a good job of making it that way.

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Darth_Vader 8 years, 8 months ago

acg, you are not turning into a conservative but a clear minded logical thinker. Something most conservatives are not.

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enochville 8 years, 8 months ago

What a great topic for discussion! I completely disagree with the posters who suggest that there is no answer to this question, that it is all opinion, and everyone's opinion is as valid as everyone else's. That is moral relativism, and although I am not Catholic, I do join with the new pope in oppostion to moral relativism. For me there is an absolute truth; things are as they really are. Now people can have different perspectives or incomplete understandings of reality, but the objective reality does exist and does not lie in the eye of the beholder.

Either there is a God or multiple gods, or there are not. People's beliefs don't change the reality of whatever is the truth in this case. Likewise, if there is a God (and I know that there is), he either has a definition of life and an expectation of how we should treat that life or he doesn't, or doesn't care. Now Mankind in their various languages can define words to mean anything they want (i.e., life, marriage, family, etc.). We have been given the freedom to believe what we want and do what we want within our capabilities. We do not however, have the freedom to choose the consequences for our behaviors. Those consequences result from things as they really are. The judgments of God and the mortal effects of destroying human life rest on things as they really are not our perception of things.

Therefore, we need to know how God defines life. And for those of you who don't know whether God exists, you need to learn that first and how to know his will. Now, God did not give his definition of life to the ancient Israelites. He gave them commandments according to their understanding. Now the scriptures do consider babies that have been conceived as sons, such as in Luke 1:36, "Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son". The clearest way to know God's will is through the prophets (those that wrote the scriptures and those that live today).

Now, I know that many do not believe in God or do not share my understanding of him, so I respect that we will have differences of opinion. We don't all agree on what is truth. I respect that each of us are free to believe as we want. I also feel that we should be free to persuade others to share our beliefs.

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acg 8 years, 8 months ago

I am so torn on this question. 15 years ago, if someone had asked me I would've said at birth. But carrying a child now I have to say I feel like it began when the stick said positive and we knew for sure. I've always been a staunch advocate for a woman's right to choose, but here recently I've been asking myself, how can anyone possibly choose an abortion, especially considering the adoption alternative. I feel like too many women run off to the clinic to have a their "little problems" taken care of without really examining the ramifications of their actions. Abortion was never meant to be a form of birth control. I still think a woman's right to choose should be protected by the courts but I wish women would choose the right option and not be so quick to kill a potential life. OMG, am I turning into a conservative?

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wichita_reader 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey righthand, on what do you base the alleged new "trend" of following a pregnancy's development to find imperfections to "justify" an abortion?

Did you ever think that the purpose of following the pregnancy is to monitor the development and health of the fetus, as well as the mother?

I've never heard such an odd twist on a pregnant mother's check ups before. Very interesting.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

Since when is name-calling a deadly sin? RightHand, have you been talking to David Ryan?

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righthand 8 years, 8 months ago

Abortion is a "get-out-of-jail -free card" plain and simple. All the philosophical smart talk is incidental. As far as it being totally opinionated... you could stretch that arguement to cover any moral issue. The fact that it is morally based does not subject it to the whim of opinion. You could, for all intents and purposes, apply that logic to murder, theft, rape, name-calling... pick a deadly sin. To be truly cerebral is to accept the moral code for what it is and for its value, not to compare and contrast or rate morals on a scale. The oldest trick in the book is to justify a wrong in order to escape the guilt that naturally accompanies the wrong. ONe of those tricks is to follow an act with a justification based on opinion, personal feelings, scientific research ( I find it funny how we all become junior scientists the minute we need to justify our cause). Let's be honest... abortion is the great escape clause. Obviously the moral issue is important when you see the trend now is to follow a pregnancy along watching for imperfections in the child that may "justify" an abortion. It's all about feeling better about one's self, isn't it?

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Christine Anderson 8 years, 8 months ago

Morning, folks. Life begins at conception. This is something that biologists agree on, even if they're not coming from a religious viewpoint. I don't give a hoot even if no one else agreed with me. From the moment of fertilization, i.e. conception, that "bundle of cells" has all it will need to develop into the little boy or girl God intends for it to be. The only difference between this "bundle of cells" and a newborn human baby is time and further development. I happen to be one of those people who does believe in helping the mother who chooses to let her baby live, and in not turning our backs on them. That being said, though, I also am for personal responsibility, which means either using birth control or saying no to the penis. We CAN live without them!

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

Totally. To the max.

Where did I leave my keys?

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

even_money! That song is so tubular.

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Ceallach 8 years, 8 months ago

At conception.

I cannot understand the personal philosophy that says I do not believe in abortion, would not get an abortion, but I think it is okay if others get them. Should we apply that logic to other areas of our society? If we do not believe in stealing (murder, child abuse, etc.) is it still okay for others to decide whether or not those actions fit within their personal value code?

btw, those cells are not the mother's cells, they are dependent upon her for existence through their development, but they are not her cells. When we speak of some one being "motherly" or "mothering" someone else, the action being defined is that of one who protects and looks after the welfare of another. A woman is not the mother of a child when she chooses not to allow it to live. Carrying the baby and giving birth to it is what makes her a mother.

There are many crisis pregnancy centers across the nation, in Kansas and in the Lawrence area. Help and support both mental and financial are available to women with unplanned pregnancies. The long lists of people waiting to adopt children, even children with special needs, proves that many pro-life individuals are willing to put their money and their lives into practicing their beliefs.(btw, many pro-life individuals are not Christian, right-wing or otherwise.)

The life of the mother should always be a consideration. But as previously stated, that is a very rare incident. More often it is the social life of the woman that is endangered. She cannot afford it, will have to drop out of school, etc.

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

My Exxon comment was out of line.

Allow the unaborted to be slaughtered in the noble cause of fighting terrorism! GO USA.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

The state shouldn't fund abortions; that adds an entire dimension to an already hyperproblematic dilemma.

SadTaco, of course Pro-Lifers are Pro-War! Don't abort a baby who can grow up and be a part of some human shield! Sacrifice them to the Exxon Gods.

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gr8God 8 years, 8 months ago

g-2 I was going to say 4-6 weeks. I glad you corrected me.

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craigers 8 years, 8 months ago

Hong Kong, I am not attacking you, and I think your assertion about the baby not being able to survive outside of the mothers womb without her aid is obviously correct. However, when can a child survive without the aid of parents or caretakers? I mean if that was the measure of life, then most children wouldn't be considered alive. Most of our child years we depend on others for our substance and help to live.

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Darth_Vader 8 years, 8 months ago

"and those other reasons are called CHOICE...they are sometimes called DON'T PUSH YOUR MORAL VALUES ON MY REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM...or its simply called mind your own damn business..."

Good if it's just a CHOICE, then I hope you don't mind my CHOICE to find someone and rape them with a broom or dismember and kill the next person I see for being a dumbass. Because you can't push your moral values of "thou shall not kill" on me.

The question is when does human life begin, the answer "dividing cells is life".

The abortion debate is over whether that human life is a "person" as set forth in the constitution.

Darth_Vader force chokes all dumbasses.

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

....detectable BRAIN WAVES aren't produced.....etc.

I left those key words out, sorry.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Good morning Das - Yeah, that's a point I commented on under the Kline article yesterday. It's so rare that this happens yet Kline is trying to outlaw the state funding of it. Seems like he's grasping at straws and his lawsuit is merely politically motivated. Someone posted that there had been exactly 0 cases in the past so many years that fell under the incest angle (he did not cite that number though).

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hottruckinmama 8 years, 8 months ago

i'm still not sure about abortion in the first 3 months. its something i wouldn't consider myself and i think its a terrible waste of potential. something that should be avoided at all costs. as far as late term that should be illegal. there is no way can they say life is not there at that point.

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

I think an embryo's heart beat can be measure 21-24 days following conception (which usually occurs a week after intercourse...if successful). The embryo's brain, actually, begins to develop after a heartbeat is established, but actual detectable brain aren't produced until sometime around 6 weeks following conception.......I THINK.

I thought I wasn't paying attention in class, too.

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nlf78 8 years, 8 months ago

tell_it - I just read your post. I had to have my child early because of my blood pressure. It spiked and I had a seisure, so they did it for my health and safety. 10 weeks early and perfectly healthy! So many people don't realize the resilency of unborn babies. I enjoy hearing positive experiences with premature babies...any child, unborn or not, should be cherished because it is a gift. If you don't want to accept your gift, then please consider the families who are trying to adopt!

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sadtaco1 8 years, 8 months ago

How can you be pro life and pro war at the same time?

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gr8God 8 years, 8 months ago

Maybe, to understand when life begins you need to understand when it ends. Life ends when there is no brain wave activity and heart beat (of course that could start another debate in itself). So, it's safe to say life begins when you have brain wave activity and a heart beat.

Say, four weeks in the mother's uterus?

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

Whoa.... 7 questions in that one HKP!

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 8 months ago

I really haven't made up my mind on the whole issue of abortion. One question that keeps gnawing at me was kind of brought up by mhyrmade(or however she spells it). Let me ask you - when do YOUR CELLS cease to be your cells? When the baby plops out? If so, why is that? If the baby can survive on it's own before it comes out, wouldn't that make the cells THEIR CELLS and you're just sort of the...airplane they're riding in until they reach they airport? Do you not find it wrong to kill off somebody else's cells?

If you're going to tell me that the fetus can't survive inside without the aid of the mother, then I say that the baby can't survive outside without aid. If that's the case, then when does killing the kid become wrong? Why would it become wrong just because it's body is surrounded by oxygen instead of amniotic fluid?

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

I rarely comment on any of the issues that are raised in the LJW, but I must say I have been impressed with the comments that have been rendered so far this morning. (It IS only 9:06, so I expect this conversation to veer off course by the day's end)

Having majored in genetics in college, I have had quite a few discussions regarding conception...most of them focusing on, obviously, the genetic aspects....but we could not avoid this subject either. I am, by no means, an authority on the topic...just offering, like everyone else, more insight.

After the sperm has successfully penetrated the egg, lost its tail, and begun to grow, the fertilized egg (now an embryo) travels back down the woman's fallopian tubes into the uterus. About one week after successful fertilization occurs, the the embryo develops chorionic villi, which are specialized protrusions on its surface that will enable it to attach to the uterine lining. This is known as implantation. The chorionic villi produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that signals the corpus luteum to continue increasing in size and produce more progesterone to maintain pregnancy. Since the presence of hCG is necessary to maintain pregnancy and a signal that the embryo has successfully attached to the uterine lining, I think THIS is when conception actually takes place (about a week following intercourse)....thus beginning life.

Additionally, hCG is the hormone that is picked up by most pregnancy test kits, I believe.

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wichita_reader 8 years, 8 months ago

I would have to agree that life begins at conception. However, I am pro-abortion, although I would never ask or counsel someone to have an abortion.

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Das_Ubermime 8 years, 8 months ago

TOB, not to throw gasoline on a fire, but that is actually what the referenced article is about. Kline is suing the state of Kansas to prevent the state from funding abortions. What abortions is Kansas funding? Those that include rape, incest, and endangerment to the mother.

The question is really more along the lines of what is a human? Are humans defined by their consciousness? If so, then there is no definite age when life begins as it appears to be different for everybody. Furthermore, our standard methods of testing for consciousness are nearly impossible to apply in utero. If humans are defined by genetics, then conception is probably the answer.

Personally, it seems to me that we have already come to an answer as a society. Afterall, we do consider a person who is brain dead to be completely dead, whether or not their body continues to live...

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Ouch, I agree with LD also. Life as in living, begins at conception. That's scientific fact. Not with just humans either. Ooh, Intelligent "Evolution is a Myth!" Design folks don't like how that argument lines up in their favor. Now, life is sometimes equated to consciousness or being a person, in which case I have no idea.

I'm a bit wishy washy on the subject. I lean towards pro-abortion (pro-choice is a PC copout. Say what you mean), but I shudder when I hear of women who have have frequent abortion cards (Get 10 abortions and the 11th if free!).

Please oh please stay out of the "what about rape! or incest!"arguments. It's so rare in the first place and even the most dilligent pro-lifers don't put up a big argument here.

"They wanted a question with some teeth. I'll give them one. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!" David Ryan

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nlf78 8 years, 8 months ago

Okay, my thought for today...conception equals life. And I don't think it's fair for our tax dollars to pay for abortions.

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italianprincess 8 years, 8 months ago

Good morning everyone and HAPPY TGIF to all of you.

Todays question has 20 answers already and its only 8 am.

I can see this question blowing up all over the place today. I'm sure there will be agreements and disagreements all day due to a person's outlook over this.

Being a mom I believe that life begins at conception. Some doctors and scientists believe it takes about 72 hours for a sperm to travel. This is only what they believe, but theres no proven fact.

I myself believe its at the time of conception, but at the same time I also believe what the docs and scientists say also.

Who knows really when it happens. I guess it's up the each person to make that discision.

Have a great Friday everyone............

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canyon_wren 8 years, 8 months ago

lunacydetector is right--the question should be "When do you consider a human to be a person?" Obviously, it's easy to turn that into "Are you for or against abortion?" which is what is happening. Yes, it will probably be a long day.

I also agree, to some extent, with Redneckgal.

Personally, I am Pro-life, but agree that it is a personal decision. But I don't believe that abortion should be used casually simply as a method of birth control when there are other options. I know that comment will bring all sorts of responses about sex education in the schools, etc. I hope we don't "go there" today--this question offers enough for one day.

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craigers 8 years, 8 months ago

To answer your question Genetic02, why is today August 19th? It is just an arbitrary day that has stemmed from others determining a calendar a long time ago. It is just a point in time that we can measure the babies age. That would be my best guess.

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craigers 8 years, 8 months ago

Life begins at conception. No abortions period. Redneckgal, if you don't mind I am going to take that tidbit off of your comment about being prolife and then saying I can't whine about raising taxes to raise other peoples children. However, I would say let's give birth control to all adults who want it and if they choose not to take it, then they should pay for their own child. Being proactive seems so much better in this case than reacting and taking care of a child for 18 years in the system.

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

If "life", which should probably be defined so everyone can be on the same page, begins with conception, then how come the lengths of our lives are measured beginning when we are born? This isn't to throw a loophole in the topic. I am just curious. I'm pretty sure a lot of parents may not remember exactly when their children were conceived.

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cubs86 8 years, 8 months ago

zygotes have an aversion to spinach? lunacydetector I think you need to turn that detector on yourself.

as to the question, there is no answer only opinion!

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John Spencer 8 years, 8 months ago

When they are in my phonebook, that's when they become a person.

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Grammaton 8 years, 8 months ago

Cellular mitosis is indicative of life. However, IMHO, I believe life truly begins (for humans) once consciousness is achieved.

So much of this question rests on one's opinins. This is going to be a long day indeed.

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neopolss 8 years, 8 months ago

I like my eggs scrambled with a bit of mayo.

DavidRyan may see why today the off topic posts may be prefered to taking this question seriously. I forsee plenty of namecalling.

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gccs14r 8 years, 8 months ago

Define "human." Life has been continuous on this planet for about 3.5 billion years.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, OTTR. Apparently those who have posted "at birth" are just complete idiots. Thank you for blessing us with your infinitely wise post. To IGNORE other points of view is a good call when you're so right! Right? =P

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Redneckgal 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe life begins at conception and thus believe abortion is wrong. Having said that though let me say this: If we are going to expect babies to be born into this old world that the parents can't/won't take care of then we had better dang well be prepared to step up and do something for them if they need it. I find it really ironic that some of the same people that are pro-life are also the biggest "don't raise my taxes to pay for someone else's kid people". To expect people to bring a child in this world and then totally turn you back if that child needs help is just as wrong as abortion in my book. Thats my 2 cents. TGIF!!

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

Human life begins when the strip turns blue. No, it's certainly a tough call to make.

Doctors and biologists will say one thing, but who's to say the huddled masses will believe them? After all, everyone seems to recoil at the idea that of evolution. But that's not today's discussion.

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lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

The question of the day should be:

When do you consider a human to be a person?

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe a human life begins at conception!

I also believe that I should ignore and not read any more posts on this subject. From just reading the two above that say 'at birth', I can tell there are going to be some real idiots posting today.

Have a great Friday everyone....I choose life, not murder!

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blue73harley 8 years, 8 months ago

Tough question that I really can't answer. I do know that I would rather have my tax dollars used to fund abortions rather than support "crack babies" for the rest of their lives. The story in the news this morning about the Kansas City area mother (and I use the term loosely!) who left her baby in the dumpster to die is sick enough but now we find out she has already given one away and is pregnant again!!! Disgusting behavior. I would respect the decision of any woman who would choose an abortion. They should however, make that decision very carefully.

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lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

When do you consider a human to be a person?

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lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

the zygote has no brain, but it does have what will grow into a brain, just as an infant does not have speech but has what will grow into speech. Within the zygote is an already fully programmed individuality, from sex and aging to eye color and aversion to spinach. the personhood of the person is already there, like the tuliphood of the tulip bulb. One must actually be a human being, after all, to grow a human brain.

so the question should be: when do you consider a human to be a person?

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tell_it_like_it_is 8 years, 8 months ago

Oh man. Its going to be a long day today. Answer to the question: I don't know. Certainly I think it is already there during the last couple of months when late term abortion is legal. One question I've always had regarding this late term stuff is this. When my sister had my nephew 2 years ago her blood pressure went sky high when she was about 7 months along. They delivered him early in order to save her life. He was in NIC for a few weeks and then he got to come home. Today he is fine. Now what is the difference? If its to save the life of the mother why not just deliver the baby and hopefully with the right care things will work out even if he is premuture? If the mom doesn't want him then give him up for adoption? but then I'm not a medical person so I really don't know if its that simple. Maybe someone can answer it. Okay enough rambling for one day. Off to work I go. Everyone have a great Friday!

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

This is going to be one long day on this post...

...get ready David Ryan!!

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even_money 8 years, 8 months ago

When the "intelligent designer" says so.

Read the tea leaves and stuff like that.

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Jeff Goodrick 8 years, 8 months ago

At Birth I do think the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for someone to have an abortion.

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myhrmayd 8 years, 8 months ago

Wow...and actual question that is thought provoking...I'm stunned...

Technically speaking...dividing cells is life...so perhaps the question should be "when do you put a moral value on a group of dividing cells" Cuz that is a WHOLE OTHER ball of wax...In a perfect environment (which the uterus is NOT) a sperm and egg mysteriously join and the beautiful process of life begins...around 9 months later...a human child is fully formed and birth commences. But more often than not, there is a hitch somewhere in those 9 months that results in the termination of said group of cells. Be it a spontanous abortion (which, in case you're wondering, is when the BODY rejects the pregnancy because of one of a million reasons. Most of the time, the woman didn't even know the sperm had a date with the egg) or a host of other reasons that the pregnancy doesn't go full term...and those other reasons are called CHOICE...they are sometimes called DON'T PUSH YOUR MORAL VALUES ON MY REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM...or its simply called mind your own damn business... and before the holy rollin pro lifers start slinging arrows at me...let me just clarify...I am a mother...beautiful 12 yo...never had an abortion...and you know what...that was MY CHOICE! I have a moral value on MY group of dividing cells...I take full responsibility for MY cells...but if Jane Doe has other plans for her cells...Thats between her and her God...

Peace!

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goatdog 8 years, 8 months ago

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