I was reading an article on the Huffington Post yesterday regarding some apparent possible hospitals in the US being able to refuse performing abortions (I am too tired to go find the link right now, but it was passed around on FB). But what interested me were some of the comments people posted on it. Of course there was the usual tussle over at what stage an unborn child should be considered a human, others saying right from conception, others responding that an abortion is not the killing/taking of human life because it's not born yet and hasnt taken a breath, the usual comments about how an embryo and a fetus are not called 'humans' so therefore based on those terms, it is not murder, etc.
One woman commented something that made me laugh my head off and I wondered why I never thought to look it up before. She took the word fetus, that most were throwing around to say it is not human, and presented it's meaning. At it's roots in Latin and Greek, fetus means "offspring, bringing forth, hatching of young". And in other roots it means "suckling" and "to come into being". For those who believe that abortions after 12 weeks (say 12 to 20 weeks, before fetal viability) are okay, stating that a fetus is not a human - I ask where they got that information from. The roots of the word dating back hundreds and thousands of years have always appeared to mean 'life' in some form or another. Not 'mass of cells' or 'bundle of cells' like I have seen MANY people using over the years. Even for an embryo, the 'mass of cells' part doesnt last very long. I had an ultrasound at 5.5 weeks with my daughter and was shocked to see a stumpy little head (like a tadpole, big and bulky compared to the rest of the body) and little stumpy legs and a round belly. Didn't look like a mass of cells to me, but hey, that's my opinion.
Anyway I just found that interesting. Then I was reading through more comments saying that the fetus is not a human until it takes a breath. Who said that? Is that a scientific thing? I saw one man post something about how a fetus is not called a human in any science book and women don't walk around saying 'I am pregnant, I am having a human". Ya - he is right. That's not something people walk around saying. But they also do not refer to each other as humans very often. Maybe that guy should think about that. He does not walk down the street and say 'hello, fellow human' or "I have 3 human children". How ridiculous would that sound? If he does not refer to others as a human most of the time, why should he worry about if a fetus should be called a human. I dont say 'I just had a human!' when I give birth. I say 'wooo it's a boy' or 'I just had my baby'.
As Ive posted before, my last child was born very premature. It bothers me to think that the man writing those comments would think that 5 miliseconds before my son's birth, he was not in fact human. But somehow magically when they pulled him out, he took a breath and TA-DA, it's a human! Yay!!! Phew I was worried there for a minute. I thought they were going to say I gave birth to some other species. Thank you for telling me it's human!!
No. People do not talk like that.
This could go on and on and people will forever have this argument but the ones I hear most hold the least weight, the least power. It makes them feel better to say that whatever is growing inside the woman is not human. I'm not quite sure what other species it could be if it's not a human until birth, but 'fetus' and 'embryo' are NOT terms used to name a species. They are terms used to define the stages of development of whatever species is involved. Last time I checked, if a woman had something growing inside her womb, it would be a HUMAN embryo, a HUMAN fetus. So those arguments don't really fly with me.
If you are going to debate this, be real with it. It IS a human being growing in there, and it IS alive (dependant on the mother, but then again an infant is completely 100% dependant on others after it is born as well or it will postively die). It IS a human being in early developmental stage (or late, depending on what your current gestational limit belief is), and it IS alive, and you believe it is perfectly okay to end it's development and life. Be real with what you are supporting. Maybe I would respect other's arguments for this issue if they would just face up to the absolute fact that they are in fact supporting the ending of humans in their developmental embryotic or fetal stage. I rarely see anyone use those terms at all. They skip over that and start talking about the mother's rights to her own body. That's fine. That could be a real argument there - but if it is not okay for a mother to smother her crying infant at 1 day old, why would it have been okay for her to get an abortion 2 days earlier? What is the actual difference there? The born child has rights apparently, but the unborn child does not. If you believe that, then explain it in real terms. Do not keep walking around flapping about how an unborn child is not a human. If it isnt, then please explain what species it is. If it's not a 'person', then please explain what a person is. Is a person only one who has taken a breath? Then why do we bother putting infants who were stillborn into little caskets and naming them and burying them? Surely they are not humans so parents should not need to obtain a death certificate. Afterall, their infant did not take a breath.
If someone injures a pregnant woman. the fetus dies, and the person gets charged with the murder of the unborn child, you should be up in arms about that and protesting his arrest. You should be screaming from the rooftops that he did not kill a human being at all and should not go to prison for that. But most of you aren't. Why not? You would say that this mother wanted that child. How do you know? How do you know she wasn't booked for an abortion the following week and just didnt tell anyone after all the media blitz surrounding her unborn child's death. You can't know for certain that she wasnt wanting or planning an abortion.
All of those kinds of arguments drive me bonkers. I want someone to be real about it. Talk about what really happens in a termination procedure at various clinics and explain why you think that is okay. Explain what species this woman is carrying in her womb if it's not human. Don't use catch phrases that everyone else likes to use. Study the stages of development and learn about when the brain develops and is active (ie tests on fetal dreaming patterns), study when the heart and lung systems start up, when the eyes form, when daddy's dimples take shape on the cheeks or mommy's long second toe shows up, and then match that with your personal belief for when an abortion can be performed by. Etc etc. Educate yourself on everything and then come and talk to me about it.
And please, oh please, do not throw in all the extra hot topics like the mother's life is in danger, or rape/incest. I happen to think that it would be crazy to force a woman to go through trauma like that (or die) if she didn't want to. We agree on that, but probably for differing reasons. But we can agree, so let's just hear about the other kinds. The 'oops I forgot to take the pill' or 'oops i didnt know that my medication could make my pill ineffective' or the 'oops i didnt think i could get pregnant my first time' or 'im too poor', etc. The ones that make up the vast bulk of abortions. I know a lot of women who have had children, and I only know ONE that had an abortion because the pregnancy was literally killing her (she went septic and turned green, it was pretty scary), and I only know ONE that had an abortion for medical reasons of the infant (extreme case of spina bifida that was so harsh, the infant would not have survived). In both of those cases, the mothers were completely distraught and still are to this day. It was traumatic and horrific and my heart goes out to them for having to make such tough decisions. But that's it - just two. Out of lord only knows how many. The bulk of abortions are convenience (or inconvenience) of the mother. So let's talk about those.