This picture was posted on Facebook yesterday and I have to tell you, it completely blew me away! I really thought it was a fake. I couldn’t believe a baby is so well developed at 20 weeks. Of course I had to Google it to be certain and sure enough a fetus is at this stage of development by 20 weeks. Unbelievable!
This got me thinking about abortion and the whole right to life issue. Since 1973 when the Supreme Court in a landmark decision on abortion established the 24th week of pregnancy as the point of ‘fetal viability’, which is the point at which a baby can survive outside the uterus.
For years I thought myself to be ‘pro-choice’ on abortion because I believed that a woman should have the right to choose abortion if she so desired. After all it’s her body, her uterus, so it should be her choice. Now that I’m older I find that I no longer believe in abortion, although I still believe strongly in women’s health, welfare and equality issues, and believe pregnancy presents a danger to the mother’s well-being no matter how many weeks along she is.
Even as some states, most recently Arizona, have passed tough new abortion laws lowering the time limitation for legal abortion from 24 to 20 weeks, I truly believe this picture and others like it make a compelling case against abortion and the concept of ‘fetal viability’. If nothing else the pics certainly make a case for lowering the 24 week limit on abortion to even lower than 20 weeks, perhaps to the first 9 to 12 weeks.
Who are we to believe that we have the right to determine whether a developing fetus is a living human being or whether a human life begins at conception or some later stage of development? Who are we to say that a human fetus is not truly ‘alive’ until it can exist on it’s own outside the mother’s body? Until then a fetus is not alive? A fetus is simply a mass of cells? I don’t think so. How can we dare to say that just because a fetus is totally dependent on a woman’s body to survive and resides inside her body and is, for a time, an actual part of her body, it is not an individual life? What gives us the right to make these determinations? Have some of us evolved into all-knowing, God-like beings who can make these life decisions? I think not.
If you believe in God as our Creator and the miracle of conception and birth, then you have to believe that a developing fetus has the potential to develop into a living human being and that potential gives them the right to life. Ultimately the decision on abortion is a matter of conscience and although we are all entitled to an opinion, that decision should not be made by you, me, society as a whole or even the Supreme Court. The choice belongs only to pregnant women and the decision should be based on women’s personal beliefs, morality, and circumstances. But remember abortion is not a form of contraception! If a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant she should use one of several contraceptive devices that are readily available and not use abortion as plan B. We can only hope and pray that they make the choice that is right for them and the unborn child.