Embryos, Fetuses, Bzbies: Today’s society has reached a level when it is obvious to most that life begins at conception. Even the presidential candidates were cornered on this issue on Saturday, August 16, 2008 by Pastor Warren of Saddlebrook Church in California. To many their responses were to be expected. John McCain immediately gave his polictical reply to a Christian Pro-life audience that life begins at conception. However, he stopped there. He smiled and changed the subject. If life were really so precious to him it would not appear to many that his true God is the military and war.
On the other hand, Senator Obama attacked the quesiton head on. His answer may not have been so politically righteous considering his audience but it was obviously well thought out and honest. I respect his concern for the life of the mother and that her life must be considered when abortion is discussed. That is not to say that would consider abortion a viable option when women and men can choose to be careful and use contraception or opt for adoption in lieu of killing an unborn child. On the other hand though I did respect his argument that more needs to be done to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to offer support to those who would choose to keep their infants if they could afford to do so. On his side he also suggested that our adoption laws are too difficult when there are so many children who need good homes. I agree.
I think that adoptive parents should be well screened so that they are not a danger to the child that they are adopting but I know of many qualified individuals who have been turned down due to health issues or age. I think one should remember that any child could be born into a home where these issues exist and one can only hope that they make the people involved more loving and closer.
Another point that Obama made was that this issue was above his pay grade. The Supreme Court justices, whom are appointed, are the ones that determine how Roe vs Wade will be implementede. He even went on to say that there are those who are sitting on the bench that he may not have chosen.
To move on from this point I want to discuss the issue from a personal stand point. I am a cuddle therapist at my local hospital. What is a cuddle therapist. It is a person who is blessed with the privilege of entering the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NCIU) with the express purpose of comforting sick infants whose parents are not able to be there.
In this position I frequently encounter wanted babies who were born as early as 20 weeks and weight a mere pound or just over. These infants fight diligently for life. In their fight they endure nasal-gastric tubes down their noses so nourishment can be provided, IVs to monitor and administer enzymes and other life-sustaining fluids, forced air masks, cardiac monitors, and blind folds to prevent ultra violet light from damaging their eyes. Many of these tiny infants are in the NCIU for up to 5 months at which time they have reached a normal birth weight and have developed to the point of survival on their own.
So, while these wanted baby’s lives are fought for others whose mothers have decided that they are just tissue masses are allowed to die. Think about it just 20 weeks and these babies have all of their fingers, toes, ears, eyes etc and believe me they feel pain. I have yet to encounter one of these small human beings who doesn’s cry their little hearts out when they are jabbed with a needle or otherwise hurt.
It must, however, be commented on that many of these poor infants who are born so sick or early are the result of drug or alcohol abuse by their parents. Nicotine withdrawal is also painful for these babies whose mothers refused to stop smoking during their pregnancy.
So, is an embryo just a mass of tissues or is it a real live human being whose cells are in the process of growing just the reverse of what happens to us as we age? Is a fetus nothing more than a tumor growing in a mother’s stomach? When does that Baby a new mother holds take on the distinction of being human? My answer is that this is determined by the selfishness of those making the decisions from the Supreme Court right down to the mother involved. Again I emphasize that I believe that their must be an exception made when the life of the mother is in jeopardy or in the case of rape or incest. Other than that I really don’t see how anyone, especially someone who claims to be religious, can justify the early termination of a pregnancy for convenience sake or most especially the termination of later stage pregnancy where the doctor must make a decided effort to take the life of the newborn.