Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Abortion Discussion (revisited)

I have often found myself discussing abortion over the years. I've never had a conventional view on the subject. I've never fallen in line with a "democratic" or "republican" party line on the issue.

I mean, what about non-consensual sex, resulting in pregnancy? How does this fit into "every fertilized egg is a life" or "it's a woman's right to choose" First off, you don't want to bring incestuous offspring into the gene pool. It isn't good. I say in this instance, perhaps even late term, with extenuating circumstances.

Or, what if the child has a detectable, severe mental handicap, or physical one. What about congenital diseases that make for very short, uncomfortable lives? Perhaps after we can cure these things, it will become a moot point, but until then, it's a valid consideration when bringing a new life into the world.

On the other side of the coin, at what point does it become immoral to "kill a child"? After a month, you can't tell it's human yet. Two months into the deal, and you can tell it's at least a primate, and since it has no hair, you'd guess it's human. But by the time you get into month three, there is no mistaking that tiny being as anything but human.

Fingers, toes, eyes, mouth, tongue, ears, brain... it's all there by the beginning of the 12th week, or 3 months roughly. At this stage, I have to start siding with the "conservatives". Unless you didn't know you were pregnant, if you let it go this far, and there isn't anything wrong with the "fetus"...

At that point, I don't know whether or not it's "moral" do abort a child anymore. Before this point, it goes from weeks 1-4, it's just some cells, to weeks 5-8, hey that looks kinda weird, around week 9 it starts looking ape-like, and by week 12, THAT'S A BABY! But still, it's only human in physiology at this point. It's brain is not very developed at all, probably less complicated than a rat's brain even.

(on left is 8 week old is web-fingered and legless; on right is 12 week old, with legs and regular fingers and toes)

A recent study has pegged a new milestone though. At week 20, or so, the brain starts going through cycles that are very similar to ones that occur in the adult brain. At this stage, I'm saying it IS a human and to willfully end a viable child at this point should be considered murder, unless there are extenuating circumstances. And then we have another milestone at week 22, that's the youngest preemie to survive incubator care.

Brain cells start sending signals early

Just because you don't WANT it isn't good enough reason. Not to be crude, but if it wasn't non-consensual, you should have not been having vaginal intercourse if you weren't ready for a child.

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