When Does Life Begin - In the Womb, at Birth, or When?

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  1. RJ Schwartz profile image91
    RJ Schwartzposted 12 months ago

    Like the ebbs and flows of the ocean's tides, the abortion debate surges and then relaxes - right now America is in the heart of one of the biggest surges we've seen in a long time.  With new legislation emerging on late-term abortion, it seems that we may once again see the topic come to the Supreme Court.  Since the original decision of Roe v Wade, there has never been an "official" time established by our legal system as to when "life" begins (perhaps that's why we are debating this still, perhaps not)

    I will start out the discussion by saying I am personally opposed to abortion, but I also am in support of common-sense legislation that allows those who do want an abortion to get one.  This latest law has really got me thinking though and I'd like to hear other's thoughts on the subject.
    https://hubstatic.com/14399058.jpg

    1. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      When does life begin? I think it always was. The sperm and the egg are life. But that doesn't answer the question which is, when does a unique and separate life begin. Which may or may not be the right question.

      Maybe the question is when does a unique and separate definitively human life begin.  Questions we cannot reasonably answer other than to say if a fetus could survive outside of the womb, even with medical intervention, it's safe to assume it has reached that point.

      I assume you are referring to New York and their recent insanity. I couldn't begin to understand what reasoning they could use to justify that. I can see if it is a question of one life or another yes, saving the mother is one of the options but I find it ridiculous to think we need a law to clarify that. They are making a statement I can't support.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Life begins before the egg and sperm unite.

      2. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        +1000000

    2. peterstreep profile image78
      peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      I think it starts with sexeducation and social awarness.
      In Holland abortion is legal and not a discussion anymore. Funny thing is Holland is a country with a verry low abortion rate. Why? Because girls have save sex and relativly late. As they think before they act and dont want to start a family when still being a teenager.
      So my advise is. Skipp the public discusion about abortion and start a public discusion about sex and its responsibilities, the disadvantages of teenage pregnancy and a good use of the pill and condoms.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        +10000000000000000000000000000000

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        While a very laudable approach, and one I agree 100% with, it does not address the concern of abortion.  "Very low abortion rate" does not equate with "no abortions", after all, and it also ignores the religious aspect of denying sex until married that is still taught extensively.  Such parents or other figures of authority will never assent to teaching use of birth control methods for fear it will lead to sex.

        1. Live to Learn profile image81
          Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          That's an important point. Societal differences make observations on matters in one country not always pertinent for implementation in another.

        2. peterstreep profile image78
          peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I think Wilderness, that just as with the time of alcohol prohibition, it did not stop drinking alcohol. The reverse, it only created more crime.
          No abortions is a dream. There will always be abortions. Legally done with care and on a professional level, or in the kitchen, falling from the stairs or other means.
          If you don´t want an abortion because of religious reasons, that´s up to them. But there should be a freedom of choice for the people who do not have religious restrictions.
          I think the no sex before marriage is in the same category as the prohibition of alcohol too. The more something is illegal or forbidden, the more young people want to try it out. But that´s up to the wisdom of the parents.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Just so: there will always be abortions.  Which means we need laws governing abortion, just as we have laws governing nearly every interaction between two people.

            1. peterstreep profile image78
              peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              completely agree.

            2. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              +100000000000000000000000000000000000

    3. bhattuc profile image83
      bhattucposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Life starts when the egg is fertilised and embryo is formed in the womb. I do not know when the brain starts forming. If we know, we can take that as the start of life perhaps.

      1. profile image0
        RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Many people on both sides of the issue have common ground. That axiom is  the fact that life exists in both sperm and egg even before they unite. Sides diverge when one has enough hubris to say they know the moment it is defensible to snuff out that life.

        Approaching their position as intellectually as possible, that side claims science backs them up. Their thinking process dismisses the fact that science has often declared a truth only to have disproving information unfold in future studies. Ignoring the fact that our best scientists freely admit they know very little in the grand scheme of things, this side of the issue embraces theories as fact.

        Science itself has proven that those who base claims of knowing much about a subject on the fact that those who came before them knew so little are to be viewed with thorough suspicion. Comparing themselves to less knowledge so they can claim great knowledge is just another level of hubris. 

        It's interesting to remember that in the 50s science claimed antibiotics would erase disease, and even more interesting now that we know antibiotics have a few of their own problems with creating disease. A little research can take us a long way on the topic, https://www.famousscientists.org/10-mos … -debunked/ but even new research should accurately reports facts.

        People too often use the interpretation of supposed scientific research that suits their own thinking without considering how finite we are. One has to wonder what the world would be like if all scientists were willing to search out the treasure trove of information given us by the Infinite One. Still, He promises wisdom to those who will seek it from Him according to His Word. 

        A quote from C.S. Lewis can be helpful: "My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?" (Mere Christianity)

        Another quote from him is along the lines of how the best scientists think: "One road leads home, and a thousand roads lead to the wilderness." Scientists with a social agenda are dangerous to all humanity, and they know it. Truth is not their goal; blindness to anything but their goal is the condition under which they operate.

        People do not have to be blind followers of science. Choosing to do so, though, keeps them in their comfort zone. They do not have to do the work of seeking wisdom for thinking. Prey to the trappings of self-satisfaction, they deny truth in all areas, not just the scientific arena.

        1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
          Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Science has given so much valuable information in this matter (when life begins), that I don’t see it as an enemy but a wonderful friend. Take for instance what we now know of genetics; the human zygote contains all of the genetic information needed to create a new and unique individual. Genetically, it is the same individual as at later stages of development.

          “This means that the embryo has the same nature—in other words, it is the same kind of entity—from fertilization onward; there is only a difference in degree of maturation, not in kind, between any of the stages from embryo, to fetus, infant and so on.” (from “Embryonic human persons. Talking Point on morality and human embryo research” April, 2009)

          The whole article is worth reading…you can find it online.

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Souls who don't have bodies and want one, look for the flash of light and then enter the union of the egg and sperm. (The union creates a flash of light on the astral realm ... where souls reside after their previous lives before coming back to earth.)

    So, if someone cannot commit to taking care of / loving a child/person for its whole life, is it  j u s t i f i e d  to terminate its continuance of (re)incarnation into a new body?
    Or is it a case of MURDER, which according to the Ten Commandments is a serious NO NO!

    I really wonder about this.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      You realize that at the moment the sperm penetrates the egg there is not double helix of DNA?  That there is no human DNA involved yet?  That infamous "double helix" does not exist yet.

      Have you seen that flash of light?  If not, how do you know it happened, and how did the photons involved get from our "plane" to the astral plane?  If light can "cross over" whatever barrier is there, surely it can cross both directions, letting us see what is happening and what is in the astral plane.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        The flash of light has been documented.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Who went to the Astral plane to see it?

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
            Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Maybe it happens on both planes.

            I mean obviously, it does! lol

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
              Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              if there were no flash of light, (on the astral plane,) no soul would come to the union!
              and jump in!

              or float in, or blend in, or flow in ... whatever the action is when one, (a soul) enters the union of the egg and the sperm.
              smile

      2. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        "Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.

        An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.

        Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans."
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/201 … ns-when-s/

    2. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Are you for real? I honestly can't take that seriously.

    3. peterstreep profile image78
      peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      You build your reasoning on the fact that reincarnation exists. There is as much proof for reincarnation as there is for the existence of an unicorn.
      Therefore your whole reasoning and argumentation are false. You state it as a fact but it is pure fantasy.

    4. lobobrandon profile image89
      lobobrandonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      When does life begin in a Chimpanzee then? They don't have a soul right?

      1. Live to Learn profile image81
        Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        So, the cosmic banana steps into the astral light. Not the soul. Chimps have bananas.

  3. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 12 months ago

    As Live to Learn said, life begins with the creation of the egg or sperm, inside both mother and father when the gametes come into being.  But when it comes to abortion, human life begins sometime during gestation.  A fertilized egg is not a human being; a 9 month old fetus is.  It is a matter of definition, then, not some naturally occurring event. 

    While I can accept that, because of the abortion issue, we must make that definition, but what I cannot accept is that individuals feel they are competent to make it for everyone else.  That point, where an egg becomes a person may be perfectly "obvious" to one person, but is a completely different point to someone else.  I have seen declarations that it is anywhere from the moment of conception (before combination of the two genetic structures into one, even) to the first breath drawn.  Both are ridiculous to me, yet others are positive they are right.

  4. profile image75
    Hxprofposted 12 months ago

    Sadly, no discussion regards when life begins will produce any kind of solution for us on this issue.  What is sad to me is the obvious attempt to extend abortion "rights" exceptionally late into pregnancy.

    1. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      I agree on this. Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies but after a period of time logic dictates it becomes a decision about two bodies.  I think we need to be fair and reasonable about when that time begins.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        +1000000000000000000000000000, Live to Learn.....

      2. crankalicious profile image90
        crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        I am very pro-choice, but I agree with this statement. Women must have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, but at some point, most easily defined at whatever point the fetus can survive outside the womb, there has to be some limitation on that choice.

        The most practical solution is to do things that prevent and limit abortions - free birth control, free condoms, and comprehensive sex education, but usually people with religious hang-ups can't get over the idea of paying for somebody's birth control. However, it's a lot less expensive to provide birth control than it is to force a child into the world. It's also more moral to avoid a pregnancy altogether than to become pregnant. From an economic standpoint, our country would be better off providing free birth control. And from a moral standpoint, they'd be better off as well.

        In other words, we should want to pay for somebody else's birth control than to pay for the enormous costs of bringing an unwanted life into the world or an unaffordable life into the world.

        1. Live to Learn profile image81
          Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I'll let you in on a secret. It isn't religion that I've witnessed. It's education, or lack of it, that causes the problem.

          1. crankalicious profile image90
            crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            The two tend to be connected.

  5. profile image0
    RTalloniposted 12 months ago

    It is interesting to remember that the pro-life movement warned everyone if abortion on demand were legalized it would open the door to infanticide. Those warnings were mocked and dismissed along with the people who were trying to counsel against it,  but here we are, seeing the various effects on a society that destroys its young.

    No two situations are ever alike but the truth about the effects of an abortion on a woman's body, the facts about fathers left out in the cold, siblings who learn they would have had a brother or sister, not to mention no one asking the little life eliminated from this world are deceptively ignored. It defies logic, except when we come to know the agenda of those who profit in some way from the industry. These people are very logical in their methodology.

    New York's leadership not only justified the decision they made, they celebrated it. Other states are now planning to follow suit. The fact is, abortion on demand has indeed led to outright infanticide being celebrated as well as promoted to others. And yet the nation holds on to the original right to abort.

    Some quotes to ponder include "none so blind as those who will not see" and "they came for...and I did not speak up, then they came...and I did not speak up, then they came for me and there was no one left to speak". We've already seen the growth of gerontocide/senicide, and aborting less than "perfect" babies has been around for a while.

    The arrogance of this good medicine for those with power to make the decisions and the money to protect themselves is incredible, but the masses unthinkingly embrace the popular rhetoric. It is past time to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. There are many people alive and thriving today that doctors would have aborted if some brave person had not stepped in to prevent their homicide when they could not speak up for themselves.

    If we fight to eliminate the death penalty because an innocent person might be executed, how can we justify abortion? So many similar questions could and should be asked, but now is the time to encourage supporting pro life organizations. It is time to tell mothers who are victims of the abortion industry that there is help for them. It is time to reform the adoption industry and let mothers know of people who desperately want to raise the baby they are being tempted to kill. It is past time to step up and speak up.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Are you assuming/insinuating that human life begins before birth?  Can you support that assumption with fact beyond opinion or definition?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        How can life be where Spirit is not?  Spirit is eternal. Souls are eternal.
        They come and go from this physical world to the world beyond: the metaphysical world.

        Evidence of the astral realm is there if one has the intuition to detect it.
        Most of us don't at this point, but some do.

      2. Live to Learn profile image81
        Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Interesting question. Coming from you. Because to claim birth, in and of itself, represents some stupendous act of singularity would mean any baby, fetus, whatever term you are comfortable with, could be aborted, at any moment. That statement implies inhaling oxygen constitutes life, cutting an umbilical cord defines you as a human.

        If that be the case wouldn't any fetus capable of breathing on its own qualify as human (by that standard) and have won the right of the term 'baby' to be used when pondering how we judge fair care?

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          IMHO, "humanness", or "personhood" begins long before that first breath or the act of another person in cutting the cord.  Particularly that cutting has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a lump of flesh is a person or just another bit of life.

          But the point is that my opinion is just that - an opinion - and is insufficient to define that point for the 300,000,000 people in this country.  And so was the statement that "but here we are, seeing the various effects on a society that destroys its young" - it is an opinion, presented as fact.  Likewise for the statement that "It is time to reform the adoption industry and let mothers know of people who desperately want to raise the baby they are being tempted to kill" and "aborting less than "perfect" babies has been around for a while".  These are opinions but are being presented as factual information...without any data to support the claim.

          1. Live to Learn profile image81
            Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            All opinions, I agree. Some more bizarre than others. I'm just saddened that we are witnessing both far ends working,in my mind, to thumb their nose at the other. No reasonable person should find it difficult to understand the problematic nature of late term abortions. No reasonable person should find it difficult to find compassion for women during the first trimester who feel the need for an abortion.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Yes, it is sad.  Neither side will even discuss the root of the matter; both sides (actually ALL sides) are positive they have the answer...without anything but an opinion to back it up.

              1. Live to Learn profile image81
                Live to Learnposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                True, but in such situations compromise is called for. Opinions which take both sides into account make more sense.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  +1  No argument there!  But it isn't happening - our political scene has deteriorated to the point that "compromise" is a dirty word, never to be accepted.  Abortion and gun control come to mind, and there are others (perhaps the wall?), where the fight is never over until one side gets total compliance with their wishes.

        2. profile image0
          RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          It has always interesting to hear abortion industry spokespersons speak of babies being able to breathe on their own as qualifying them for protection from abortion, as if breathing on their own is all they need to thrive.

          The cloak is off now and they don't care if we know they don't care whether a baby can breathe on its own or not. Infanticide by any other name is still infanticide. It is sickening to say it, but if they can get one a full term body is far more profitable to them.

      3. profile image0
        RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        No assumption here. Though scientific documentation is dismissed by pro-abortion leaders, the facts do not change. The following samples of what we now know are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to available information on human babies before birth. 

        An article worth reading (includes info from neonatologist Colleen Malloy on fetal pain): https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar … ce/549308/

        A video discussion on what we learn before we are born from Annie Murphy Paul: https://www.ted.com/talks/annie_murphy_ … anguage=en

        Studies reveal how important an unborn baby's sense of touch is: https://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancy/ … -the-womb/

        Want to learn a bit about an unborn baby's eyesight? https://www.babycenter.com/0_fetal-deve … 0357636.bc

        When does a baby begin to need hearing protection from loud noises? https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro/noise.html

        Come on now. Babies taste and smell in the womb? https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/ … tal-smell/

        As a wrap-up, thanks to revolutionary technology here is a look at what it's like for a developing baby from this womb with a view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gAsdEUNUJY

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          OK - first step in deciding when that life becomes "human" is to define what "human" means.  Want to take a crack at it?

          1. profile image0
            RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Sometimes the best way to get to an answer to a question is to turn it around. What does it mean to not be human? Studies re the problems with anthropomorphism are helpful to any question on the definition of what it is to be human. Humanizing animals leads to all sorts of problems for both animals and humans.

            A person beginning there might ask when is an unborn puppy not a dog.  Another question one could investigate is what it means to dehumanize a person. However, such questions can distract from the main question, causing many to stumble around on the issue of abortion. No matter how carefully the explanations are sliced and diced by pro-abortion leaders, we know that a woman's abortion does not end the life a puppy.

            The creed abortion activists live by harms women, not to mention babies, by ignoring too many truths. A destructive act must occur if a woman has an abortion. Truths like that aside, it's about a creed that either values human life or does not if we really think it through.

            In order to muddy the issue abortion activists will take a concept like one about creed and run with it in order to distract from the main issue. A moral code is rejected because people want to do whatever they want whenever they want with the right to be protected from warnings re their behavioral  repercussions.

            The issue of abortion involves direct consequences for another human, making that issue as distinct as the humanity of both mother and child. As D. Bandow writes, "...the campaign to define personhood is a strategy of desperation..." https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow … 523c36225f

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              "The issue of abortion involves direct consequences for another human"

              And therein lies the problem, doesn't it?  Without ever defining what a human is, what a person is the one side makes such sweeping statements insinuating that a fertilized egg is a human being.  It isn't.

              Nor does complaining that the question is but a diversion to allow the murder of babies do any good, for then we're right back to the same point; an assumption that a zygote is a human being without ever having decided just what a human is. 

              From another post:  "And yet that zygote is not a person, not a human being.  Not yet.  There is no shape, no emotions, no thought, no brain or other organs; it is not a human being yet."  (https://hubpages.com/politics/forum/342 … ost4060082)

              So how about another try: what defines a human being?  And no, IMO a fertilized egg is not a person, for the reasons given above.

    2. jackclee lm profile image81
      jackclee lmposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      You are a poet and a philosopher. Kudos for this piece of reason and common sense.

      1. profile image0
        RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        You are kind but I do not take credit. Knowledge is offered in God's Word and He promises to give wisdom to those who will seek it from Him. It is a true miracle considering how wrong our thinking can be when we are self-dependent. I have sadly learned the errors involved in isolating certain passages and verses from the whole counsel of His Word. He gives us the freedom to choose our own way of thinking about things, but his warnings re that are clear. I cannot take His glory for wisdom, but I do praise Him for His faithfulness to His Word.

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    To be fair>>>
    "If you want to be amazed at science, open a high school level chemistry or biology textbook and read carefully—through the eyes of faith—about meiosis, fertilization, fluorescence, the periodic table and atomic models, zinc, calcium, all of it, just the basics. It will blow your mind. That is the handiwork of God. I would love to see more pro-life articles teaching others about the biochemical events involved in the processes of life. Is that information boring? It does not have to be, but yes, it takes more work. I have much more to say about that later.

    For now, I get it: “zinc is released” (the so called flash of light) as an “inorganic signature” does not sound as share-worthy as “fireworks occur at moment of conception” when a “human soul enters an egg.” But you have to ask yourself in this age of the internet: Do I want to be snagged by shiny click-bait? Or do I want to be illuminated and awed by the truth?"
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/trasanco … conception

  7. manatita44 profile image83
    manatita44posted 12 months ago

    Good afternoon, Ralph. Taking a wee rest right now from Hub Pages. I was attracted by what seems to be an old question. From a yogic standpoint, God the Creator is also God the Creation. There is only 'I am.' Problems arises, as the mind is limited and will always see separation. There is only Love, Light, God … expressing Itself in and through the form and the formless, the finite and the infinite.

    A dead cat is a dead cat. 'Something' allows it to move, mew and so forth. We call this the soul and the soul is immortal, birthless and deathless. When does the soul enter the physical form? Generally after the first three months, but there is no hard and fast rule. Souls are conscious of the pain they will experience and some take longer to enter the body. Some leave as soon as they arrive.

    For the purposes of this discussion, we can say that there are two worlds. An inner subtler world and an outer world. Both are one in God's vision, but one is more ethereal, more mystical, more heavenly. The soul chooses its parents, geography, environment and culture and so forth. It is all done with the approval of the Absolute Supreme and in accordance with the soul's need.

    Abortion is a complex issue and we judge it according to our individual level of Consciousness. The Inner Pilot knows the Heart and is actually the only Judge. What matters, not only in abortion but in all aspects of human life, is Purity of Intention, Sincerity of Purpose. That the Inner Pilot, or if you like, the voice of conscience, already knows.

    A soldier has to do his dharma and Arjuna had his on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Nevertheless, he was on the side of righteousness and was supported by Sri Krishna. Always feel that there is 'Something' watching from within the Heart, which knows our good or bad intentions. Much Peace, my Brother.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image91
      RJ Schwartzposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for sharing your enlightened opinion my brother & I hope all is well with you.  Some people would disagree with your summary as they have no God other than government.

  8. MizBejabbers profile image90
    MizBejabbersposted 12 months ago

    I've read the replies and with the exception of one or two, I believe that this has been one of the most civil, intelligent forums I've seen on such a controversial subject. I commend y'all for your live and let live (no pun intended) replies.

  9. manatita44 profile image83
    manatita44posted 12 months ago

    Thanks Ralph.
    It is always a joy seeing your posts. Perhaps we have an inner affinity. The God-lover sès the hand of Love in all things. So yes, goverment, science, religion and more are necessary too.

    My Love to your wife and family.

    Nice sharing Miz.

  10. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    If you were a soul, and you entered the union of the sperm and the egg, would you want to be aborted after having been given the green light toward life?

    I mean... use your imagination and answer the question!

    1. lobobrandon profile image89
      lobobrandonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      But then in another post, you did say that the spirit never dies, etc. So you are in principle for abortion because an abortion isn't killing the spirit, the very essence of life?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        well, is a life of suffering good for a soul? a life where the mother is drug addicted and the father is a gang member with a violent temper and has abandoned the scene and the grandmother insists on raising the child, but is on welfare and an alcoholic with a good for nothing abusive husband/grandfather??

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
          Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          where the mother is on the streets as a prostitute and ends up selling her baby for money?
          ... or some other situation too hellish to even consider?

        2. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Who could know?  Without hardship and pain a child grows up stunted emotionally - perhaps that experience will give a massive leg up on the next reincarnation.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
            Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            HUH? YOU say that?

  11. lobobrandon profile image89
    lobobrandonposted 12 months ago

    I'd say it's the mothers choice up to a certain point. Up to what point, that's what needs discussion. There's no religious philosophy that can chip in here.

    If someone argues that the point needs to be set such that it coincides with the gestation period wherein a fetus can survive outside the mother's body, that would not hold for long because sperm and an egg could in the next 5 years or less be raised be fertilised and raised in an artificial womb. They could probably do it right now, but there are ethical reasons why something of this sort is not widespread yet.

  12. Bede le Venerable profile image97
    Bede le Venerableposted 12 months ago

    In my opinion, the question of when life begins will remain nebulous unless the Supreme Court understands that the human person is more than tissues and developing organs. Will it ever acknowledge the presence of the soul? Not likely.

    From time immemorial, Christians have understood that life begins at conception. At that precise moment, God creates a unique soul for the individual. Moreover, a soul is forever…abortionists may kill the flesh but the soul is eternal.

    “Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does." Tertullian, De Anima 25 (Circa 220 AD)

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Now if you could only show that what Christians have "understood" is actually true and factual rather than a mere belief the whole debate would instantly end.

      1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
        Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, you are correct - if scientists could only produce an ultrasound of the soul, we will then realize, “Ah, that’s a person and therefore has a right to live.” The debate would end.

        Until that happens, we can stick with science: ‘‘Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell, a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.’’ The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persuad (7th Edition; Publ. Saunders, p. 16)

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          And yet that zygote is not a person, not a human being.  Not yet.  There is no shape, no emotions, no thought, no brain or other organs; it is not a human being yet.

          At some time in the future, if the genetic structure is not too far out of line and all goes well, it will become a person.  And that is the point that needs defined for the debate on abortion.  A point that science cannot show for it is a definition, not any single event or attribute.

          1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
            Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            So when does life begin for you? Perhaps when the heart begins to beat? That’s about 22 days after fertilization. Brain activity begins after about forty days; is that the beginning of life? Science books tell us that life begins at fertilization and if nothing impedes that life, then it grows into a human being in short order.

            1. crankalicious profile image90
              crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Irrelevant. Who cares when life begins? We treat some life respectfully and other life not so much. It doesn't matter. The question is a trojan horse.

              The real question is providing safe medical care and whether a woman (or any woman) who is raped is going to be pushed into seeking an unsafe abortion in a back alley somewhere or whether all we're doing is subjecting poor women to back alley abortions while anyone with enough money will fly to Mexico or Canada to get their abortion, leaving a specific class to suffer because of the morality of some people who want to feel morally relieved that they made sure a few poor women couldn't get a safe abortion.

              And just to be clear, abortions should be a last resort and should, if possible, occur quickly after conception. However, life is messy.

              1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
                Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                "Who cares when life begins? We treat some life respectfully and other life not so much. It doesn't matter."

                What makes this mentality different from Nazi Germany? After all, they classified persons into categories of “worthy” or “worthless.” Those deemed worthless, such as persons with Down syndrome or advanced senility, were duly liquidated.

                When life begins matters because if it is life, and specifically a human life, then to terminate that life is homicide. It is a form of Neo-Nazism.

                1. crankalicious profile image90
                  crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  I think it's generally accepted that polemicists who turn to Nazis as their go-to are bad at their craft.

                  So, while realizing that making a sound argument will have no bearing on your understanding of this issue, my answer is simply that debating when life begins has absolutely no bearing on an effective public policy where abortion is concerned.

                  For argument's sake though, let's agree that abortion should be illegal. Let's also agree that abortion is first-degree murder.

                  Tell me, what should be the legal ramification of getting or performing an abortion?

                  1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
                    Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    First off, I apologize if I seemed to suggest that you were a Nazi. I’m sure you are a good fellow. Nonetheless, in writing articles this past year, I’ve researched the Nazis quite in depth. Whether you like it or not, their mentality correlates directly with the abortion issue. How?

                    In the first place, the Nazis did away with “undesirables.” They had no concept of human dignity. They thought that certain classes of persons were not human beings.

                    A woman has abortion because the fetus in her womb is “undesirable.” But, what if that fetus is more than cells and is in fact a human being? Do you not see how the debate of when human life begins has direct bearing on whether abortion is acceptable or not?

                    Let me give you an example. When women in countries like Denmark, Iceland and France, have an ultrasound and an “undesirable” comes on the screen, the pregnancy usually ends in abortion. Who are the “undesirables”? Children with Down syndrome. If that’s not a Neo-Nazism, I don’t what is.

                    You ask, “What should be the legal ramification of getting or performing an abortion?” If you haven’t read my previous posts, I believe human life begins at conception. If it is a human being, then in our country, that person has a constitutional right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Last time I checked, to kill a human being is the crime of murder. What do we do with murderers?

            2. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              "Science books tell us that life begins at fertilization and if nothing impedes that life, then it grows into a human being in short order."

              Science tells us that life begins with the creation of a gamete - an egg or a sperm.  Both are living cells, although neither is a person.

              I struggle with defining when a fetus becomes a person.  It has to do, IMO, with the ability to think, to love, to feel emotions.  It has to do with shape to a much lesser degree (although that may change if we one day decide that other animals should be classified as sentient "persons").  It has to do with the ability to not only think but reason (all animals have brain activity; they "think").  All animals have a heart and brain - what difference makes one a "person" and the next an animal, and when does that difference develop?

              I don't know.  I know that a zygote is not a person, I know that a 9 month old fetus is.  Somewhere in that 9 month period something happens to the fetus to turn it into a person, but I cannot define that point.  It certainly isn't drawing a breath, for nothing has changed in the fetus.  It isn't the development of any specific organ (even the brain) for other animals have that, too, and the brain won't be fully developed for another 20 years in any case.  It isn't the genetic structure, for humans both share genes with other animals and have a very wide range within what is called "human".  It isn't the ability to survive outside the womb, for that won't happen for many years (without extensive aid, aid which we continue to develop and expand to nearly the point a zygote never need see a womb at all).

              It is a combination of many traits and attributes but I am unable to define that combination to my own satisfaction, let alone anyone else's. 

              What about you - what makes a developing fetus a person?  You say a zygote, indistinguishable from any other animal, is a person, but for the life of me I cannot fathom the reasoning there.  Are you confusing a potential (human) life with "personhood"?

              1. crankalicious profile image90
                crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                The question was "when does life begin" right? Well, the sperm is alive, so technically it's hard to pick a spot when life begins.

                We can also discuss when a fetus becomes a person. Pick a number of weeks. Let's say 20. A fetus is a person at 20 weeks.

                And then we can discuss the moral implications of deciding to end a pregnancy and whether or not the ability to treat "life" disposably has a negative effect on society (I would agree it probably does. It certainly doesn't have a positive one).

                Whether or not abortion should be legal involves many different factors of which morality is a small part. For me, practicality is a bigger factor and I base much of my opinion on it.

                Given how our society functions, I always go back to this point - if abortion is murder, then all women who have had abortions should be in jail for life or put to death. Correct? And all doctors who have performed abortions should probably be in jail as well.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  "The question was "when does life begin" right?"

                  No, the question is when does that single cell become a person, granted the rights of other human beings.  A vastly different thing.

                  "We can also discuss when a fetus becomes a person. Pick a number of weeks. Let's say 20."

                  That's the bone of contention, all right.  Where is that point?  Some will say at fertilization, some say at the first breath.  And all feel they are "obviously" correct, demanding that everyone else agree with their opinion without providing anything but more opinion as a reason for their choice.  Doesn't work very well.

                  "(I would agree it probably does. It certainly doesn't have a positive one)."

                  I have to disagree here, for abortion is the removal of a non-human piece of flesh, no different than removing a tumor or appendix.  In that respect it is probably a good thing.

                  "if abortion is murder, then all women who have had abortions should be in jail for life or put to death. Correct? And all doctors who have performed abortions should probably be in jail as well."

                  Absolutely.  But abortion is not murder - it is the removal of an unwanted bit of flesh.  Yes, the NY law allows the killing of a person, a baby...but only in the most extreme of cases, and there are others where it is not considered murder either.  Self defense, for instance, or an execution.  During war time is another extreme example.

                  1. crankalicious profile image90
                    crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    Wilderness, I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but the very discussion of when does life begin is usually a way to start a conversation about abortion. And I think that question, as it pertains to abortion, is not relevant.

                    Usually, abortion opponents want to talk about a fetus as though it were a fully operational human being, which it is not. That said, i think your very scientific and practical view of abortion as the removal of tissue is probably fairly extreme for most people.

                    Generally, I reject getting pulled into a discussion about when life begins because it doesn't have anything to do with abortion. If we want to talk about abortion as a practical matter and a legal matter, I usually find that abortion opponents don't want to do that.

                    Technically, you can't say when life begins since the sperm is alive and the egg is alive.

                2. profile image0
                  RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  Not necessarily should the mothers be jailed because the abortion industry and medical providers have utterly lied to people, denying the facts surrounding the procedure, including the aftermath of a mother's emotions when a baby is lost to abortion.

                  For instance, lies presenting the so-called abortion pill as harmless to the mother abound, but the risks should be honestly presented to mothers. Also, though it is hard to believe, some mothers really are forced into abortions they do not want.

                  The issue of expecting that mothers carrying a baby due to rape want an abortion is obfuscated with rhetoric when the truth is not all mothers respond to the baby as if it is the baby's fault. Some of those mothers choose to raise the child, some choose adoption. The voices of those babies now grown up saying they are glad to be a living individual should be heard rather than dismissed.

                  Not only is the sperm alive but so is the egg it fertilizes. It is a process that teaches us much about life if we will be teachable. The real question we need to be asking is who are we to declare that we know better than our Creator about these things?

                  1. crankalicious profile image90
                    crankaliciousposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    If the mother makes a decision to end a pregnancy, at any point, she should be tried for murder, correct?

                    This use of isolated incidents is garbage and a pseudo-intellectual way to justify one's own bias. Find one instance of something objectionable and it proves your point. That type of thinking produces false assumptions and false conclusions. Every intelligent person in the world knows that having an abortion is a difficult decision and it is not a doctor's job to talk somebody out of a legal procedure, it is merely their job to provide them with information. Every person in the world has the ability to research what it means to have an abortion.

                    So getting an abortion and then claiming you had no idea of its ramifications is ridiculous.

                    And if one of the creators is a rapist, how does that change the equation. Everyone who is bringing god into this is arguing irrationally and not scientifically. If you use religion as a basis for making your decisions then there are a whole host of things you are cherry-picking for convenience and I can go through the Bible easily and detail a wide variety of anti-Biblical, anti-Christian things you are doing on a daily basis that make you unqualified to pass judgement and unqualified for the kingdom of heaven.

              2. Bede le Venerable profile image97
                Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Wilderness - At the moment of conception, a person comes into existence. God is involved as He infuses a soul into that tiny creature at that moment. Aside from a zygote, we have a person made in the image and likeness of God. We can’t see it, but God surely does. An animal does not have a soul as human beings do.

                Perhaps my favorite Christian feast, even more than Christmas and Easter, is the Annunciation on March 25. It celebrates the moment that Mary pronounced her “fiat”… “Be it done to me according to your word.” The Word became a human being at that moment.

                Regarding the matter of sentience and ability to think, etc., I can’t help but think of my 90-year-old father. He has Alzheimer’s disease and it’s getting progressively worse. He may not recognize me someday. Is he still a human being?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  I said before (in this thread, I think, but did not check) that if you could only prove those opinions (opinions, not demonstrated, proven facts) about god you would have an indisputable case.  But you can't.

                  Yeah - your father is one reason I struggle with the concept.  My mother has dementia pretty bad, and same thing.  What about a Down's child, or worse?  Human to me (to a point I still cannot define), but it doesn't work well when defining what a human is.  Same thing with shape - what about a child born with one or fewer arms or legs? 

                  All very, very gray, which is perhaps why I can accept a compromise easier than some.  I don't know what the point is and don't believe anyone else does either, so pick a point somewhere reasonable within that 9 month period and live with it.  I'm happy with 3 months, not so happy with 6 months but can still live with it as a compromise.

                  1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
                    Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    As I mentioned above, the Nazis took it upon themselves to determine who was a human being and who was worthless. If my dad lived then, he would have been a goner long ago. When I was young, I worked in a group home with persons with various handicaps - Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and the like. Some of them were difficult, but most were very precious human beings. I hope our country does not evolve into a Neo-Nazi mentality. It starts with abortion then comes euthanasia, then what? Cripples, Down syndrome children?

            3. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
              Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              - actually, the blue-print for the soul's body is CARRIED WITH THE SOUL!

  13. Glenis Rix profile image96
    Glenis Rixposted 12 months ago

    There should be limited need for abortion nowadays as most women in the developed world have access to the birth control pill. If a woman has been careless then the ethical rights and wrongs of abortion are for her alone to wrestle with. If she truly does not want to carry a baby then she has access to the morning after pill.At this stage she may or may not be pregnant. Personally, I don’t believe that expelling a few cells from the body at this stage can reasonably be described as the termination of a life. The termination of a potential life, yes. And perhaps that is preferable to bringing an unwanted child into a cruel, dangerous and overcrowded world.

    In cases of rape I don’t see a moral dilemma. Of course the woman has the right to an abortion - up to the date when it is still legal. But I imagine that if she reports the crime immediately to the authorities she will be offered the morning after pill.

    Too many people nowadays are quick to jump on a moral high horse without knowing the circumstances of individuals who have difficult decisions to make.

    1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
      Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      In cases of rape, is the child at fault? Could it not be put up for adoption? Yes, it's inconvenient for the mother, but what if you were that child?

      1. peterstreep profile image78
        peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        if you are aborted Bede, you will never be a child to ponder about this question.
        If you have to give birth because others demand it of you. This is not just inconvenient but psychological traumatic on top of the rape. Is that justice? 9 month pregnant and giving birth is being confronted 9 months with the consequences of a rape. Is rape the women´s fault?
        And after birth, the baby will be given away. Sooner or later the child will hear that it is a product of rape and that his/her parents are untraceable. That´s just great! You just created another trauma. Something you could have avoided with a morning after pill.
        I don't think adoption is an option.
        I agree with Glennis, in the end it is the decision of the woman to diced what to do.
        And last of all the Supreme Court of the United States, run by grumpy old men.

        1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
          Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Do you realize there are scores of celebrities, including Jesse Jackson, who were products of rape? They probably feel more gratitude than trauma - after all, that they have the opportunity to experience life and became celebrities to boot.

          1. peterstreep profile image78
            peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            that´s not an argument. Adolf Hitler could also have been a "product" of rape. A person can become an evil person or a good one. This is besides the point.
            The point is that first of all the women who is impregnated should have the choice what to do. If she wants a child, she should have the choice to have one. If she doesn´t want a child, she also should have the choice not to have one.

  14. lobobrandon profile image89
    lobobrandonposted 12 months ago

    Watch this 6-minute video: https://vimeo.com/315487551 when did its life begin?

  15. Glenis Rix profile image96
    Glenis Rixposted 12 months ago

    And what if you were the mother? It’s more than inconvenient! It’s a daily reminder for 9 months of a violent violation of the woman’s body. And what child would want to know such origins? Unbelievable.

    1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
      Bede le Venerableposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      If I were the mother, I would absolutely save the child’s life. It is innocent and had no part in the crime. Nine months of reliving the rape is far better than a lifetime of regret that I took part in a homicide.

  16. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    If a woman has sex and she doesn't want the consequences, that is a sad thing, no matter what.
    ... and "sad" is an understatement.

  17. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago
 
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