Skip to comments.'Clump of cells' makes a baby-size impression in a broken heart
Posted on 01/29/2003 6:29:41 PM PST by madprof98
IN RESPONSE to Leonard Peikoff's Jan. 22 commentary ["Abortion foes aren't 'pro-life': They'd ruin a real life to save tissue"], I would first like to thank him for giving me an opportunity to argue a point I once believed and now see as a sham.
In high school, I, too, uttered words similar to "a clump of cells" when referring to an embryo or fetus during hot debates over abortion at the lunch table. In college, I intellectually defended the right to abortion by explaining that an embryo or fetus is not really a baby but merely a potential life.
Then I got married and had my first son. He came six weeks early. He was strong and healthy despite his prematurity, and so I did start to feel uncomfortable about what was being aborted at the end of the second trimester. However, in first-term abortions, the issue of viability remained my defense of the procedure.
A year after the birth of our son, my husband and I wanted very much to add another baby to our family. I discovered I was pregnant the first week in February and we were thrilled. Unfortunately, I noticed problems a couple of weeks later. At the end of February, I went to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for an exam. I reported my symptoms and an ultrasound was performed.
The baby was there. It looked fine. Its heart was beating. I saw it. I got a picture.
Three days later I miscarried.
I went to DeWitt Hospital at Fort Belvoir this time, and medical personnel performed another ultrasound. It was gone. I saw it. I was empty.
In the days that followed I realized the utter ridiculousness of the "potential life" argument. What I saw on the ultrasound at Bethesda was no more a potential life than what I saw come out of my body was a potential death. Quite simply, what was once alive was now dead. Not potentially dead, not almost dead, not "not quite alive anymore"--but dead.
It follows that if you have "potential life," you must then have "potential death." But what is that? Someone in a coma? Someone who is brain dead? That's not dead. Ask the family who has to make the decision to "pull the plug." Ask the coroner.
On the last Wednesday of February 1998, the embryo, the being, the "clump of cells" inside me was alive. On the last Saturday of February 1998, it was dead. And it really is as simple as that.
The true argument is not when life begins. It begins at conception. You can candy-coat it with rationalizations of viability if it makes you feel better, but face it--what you really want to argue is this: Does a pregnant woman have a right in America to kill her unborn child?
In our country we do not allow mothers to kill their babies once they are born. But while the child is inside of her, that option is available to her and will continue to be under the guise of sacrificing a mere "potential life."
By the way, at the time of my miscarriage I was 71/2 weeks pregnant. I still have a hole in my heart the size of that clump of cells. And I still have that ultrasound picture.
JENNIFER PETITT lives in Spotsylvania County.
Date published: 1/29/2003
This always gets me. If it's only a "potential life", then it could also be a potential something else. Perhaps a "potential piano" or a "potential elephant".
The other day, someone raised the twinning argument, to try and refute the truth that an individual's human life begins at conception. [Think about it: people work hard to try and refute the truth. Why do they do that? Guilt and/or an agenda founded in disbelief or willful rejection of the truth.] Since science is absolutely firm on the truth that an individual life begins at conception, only one of two possible answers must be the truth about twinning: 1) within the single cell at fecundation (conception) there must exist the genetic quantity of two or more individual beings, or 2) something is in the first single cell of twins that will split the genetic material soon to express the two individual beings, some anomoly that will act to 'split the road' that is both of them at the start.
The point to focus upon is both twins originated in the first single cell at fecundation (at conception). Every individual human being has its beginning as a single cell, the first age of its individual lifetime. If, within the first five days of fecundation, a second identical individual, or even a third individual presents and grows along the continuum of individual life, each of those individuals had their origin in the first single cell of fecundation. There is no other truthful conclusion possible. Within the first single cell at fecundation are all the individuals conceived in that conception.
Since it is a fact that an individual lifetime is a continuum that begins at fecundation, at conception, it is glaringly paradoxical to arbitrarily remove any age along that continuum in an effort to prove a later start to the continuum (kind of like saying you hold a single strand of rope, but then you cut the rope a foot from your left hand and assert that the after-cut rope is the exact same length rope you held before you cut a foot off of it AND pointing to the short tag of rope on the floor, assert that that piece of rope was never a part of the piece you were left holding AFTER you made the cut). If a person tells you that he or she originated at 18 weeks from conception, or originated when she or he took their first breath, or originated when his or her brain first had a thought, or originated when his or her heart muscle first contracted, or originated when her or his gonads first functioned, just remember, the lifetime of every individual human BEING begins at their unique conception/fecundation and to choose some other point to believe the continuum begins is absolutely arbitrarily illogical, not based in science or truth.
And yes, with first cell division, at least one HUMAN BEING is present on the continuum of at least one human lifetime.
In tears, we cleaned up, they gave us a cup so they could save the remains to be tested, this was beyond traumatic.. I'll never forget how many of the young people who worked at this hospital came by the room and looked into the cup, just to satisfy their morbid curiosities, while we sat there devastated.. (Lets just say that if you are ever in South Florida, dont you ever go to the hospital that stands at the intersection of 826 and I-95, but I digress).
We have since had a son, who is now 15 months, and I love him so much, it scares me. As I have told others, I would destroy worlds for him.. but anyways, my wife is now pregnant again, 9 weeks now, and we are crossing our fingers, and holding our breaths, trying to do the right things..
Indeed, I am a former pro-choicer, and have used all those arguments that are refferred to in this article. I still prefer to see things terminated as early as possible. But I know that its still no where near a good thing, just a slightly less ghastly version of a horrible thing..