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Planting the Seed of Life – Part 2

June 21, 2011
Last time I was telling you about a conversation I had with a friend. The “Pro Life” conversation is probably one of the most important ones that we should be able to have. But, most of us do not have the facts or the confidence to do so. So, here’s part 2 of that conversation.[singlepic id=11 w=320 float=right]
"Would you have an abortion?" I asked.
"If I was raped I would."
"Ok. I got that. If you weren’t raped. If your contraception failed, would you have an abortion?"
"I don’t know. It depends on the circumstances."
"Like what?"
"I don’t know? if I am married or not, if I’m in school, if I have money?"
"So you would have an abortion if having the baby would be an inconvenience?"
"It’s not a baby."
"You know, when I worked at Covenant House and a young woman came in saying that she was pregnant, we would ask her all the right questions: how do you know, have you been to the doctor, who’s the father... ok? All the questions that we had to ask. Then, she would undoubtedly bring up the abortion question. You know what she would say? 'I can’t have this baby right now.' Never once did I hear a young woman say, 'I can’t have this fetus right now.' This is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Everyone knows, especially pregnant women, that what they are carrying is a baby. Even little kids, when they see an ultrasound... 'look mummy a baby.' They know exactly what it is. But then you have these PhDs who can’t figure it out.  Is it a duck? Is it a blob of tissue? We don’t know what it is."
"It’s not a baby. It’s not born."
"So you are agreeing with me that the real issue is not women's choice, but whether the fetus is a human being or not?"
"You can't prove that a fetus is a human being."
"If it's not a human being, then what is it? A pine cone? A dog? What species is it going to be, if it's not human?"
"Ok. Fine, it's a member of the human species, but it is not…" She struggled to find the words to make her point.
So I helped her, "It's not a human person?" I offered.
She thought about this for a bit. Then, satisfied, she said, "Yes. A human fetus is not a human person."
"Ok, before we talk about personhood. Let me clarify. Is it alive?"
"Well, it depends..."
"Depends on what?"
"On the stage of pregnancy."
"It’s always alive, from the moment of conception. Its cells are dividing. It's growing - it's alive."
"I don’t think it’s alive until the heart begins to beat and the blood begins to flow."
Ok – now, let me pause here for a sec. I had watched an episode of CSI when Grissom offered in his words of wisdom at the end of the episode that since in the book of Leviticus, chapter 17, verse 11, God said to Moses that "the life of the flesh is in the blood," perhaps life didn’t really begin until the blood started to flow through the body. This happens at around five weeks, when the heart begins to beat. I was going to be very condescending and start with, “I also watched that CSI episode,” but I decided against that. Instead I said, “Ok, so are you saying that after five weeks abortion is murder?
She hadn’t thought about this either. “I’m not sure,” she said.
“Ok...” I continued, “So, you’re saying that before the blood begins to flow... it’s not alive."
"Yes it’s alive, it’s just not a life."
"But it’s comprised of cells and cells in order to be alive need oxygen and the oxygen comes to them in the blood."
"Yes, but it’s the mother’s blood, not the baby’s."
"Are you saying it’s a baby?"
"No. You know what I mean." She smiled.
I continued, “It’s alive, but it’s not a life. It’s a member of the human species, but not a human person.” I was thinking out loud. Then I asked, “So it’s alive and human, but not a life?”
Silence. She was thinking about it too. I continued, “But it’s not a human person?”
“No,” she answered.
to be continued....
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