Blob of Cells

Here is a 12 week old human fetus. Abortion supporters think it’s okay to yank this ‘blob of cells’ from the mother’s womb and destroy it. At this stage of pregnancy the suction aspiration form of abortion is usually used. This means a tube with a knife on the end is inserted into the womb. The fetus is cut into pieces and the remains are sucked down the tube and out of the body. For more information go here. (some graphic images)

  • Korou

    Well, that’s vvery interesting, because in the case we were talking about on http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2012/10/pro-life-story.html the mother-to-be said it was “over a month” – so can we assume the fetus she was planning to abort was six weeks old? Which seems to be rather less than 12 weeks.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      So what? At six weeks the unborn child’s heart is beating and his brain is already so developed that brain waves can be detected, he responds to external and internal stimulus showing that sensory abilities are developed and it is possible that very primitive pain responses can be felt. In any case, deny that you would allow for a twelve week unborn child to be aborted in the manner I described. Deny that you would allow a 24 week unborn child to be aborted. You have said that a child full term should not be killed–but why not? At what point would you NOT allow an abortion, and why would you choose that date of development?

      • Niemand

        At six weeks the unborn child’s heart is beating and his brain is already so developed that brain waves can be detected, he responds to external and internal stimulus showing that sensory abilities are developed and it is possible that very primitive pain responses can be felt.

        Source? There were experiments with external EEGs early on that suggested that there may be brain activity in embryos at 6 weeks, but later studies pretty definitively demonstrated the result to be false: random noise mistaken for signal. Anatomically, there aren’t stationary neurons in the brain until about 8 weeks so “brain waves” at 6 weeks seems unlikely. Nor have I seen any reputable source claim a pain response at 6 weeks. Indeed, the spinothalamic tract, which carries pain signals to the brain, doesn’t seem to get myelinated until the 3rd trimester so it’s hard to say how the embryo is supposed to feel pain. Want to explain the miracle?

  • Ginny

    Before we can even consider giving our needy brothers and sisters the necessities of life, we must first give the unborn a life to live. That’s one reason I am so befuddled about the tenets of the socialist state.

    And then, there are those pesky Catholic bloggers who advise us that either our vote is in fact irrelevant or that voting for either candidate will put our soul into the danger of hell’s fire — just words and talk to me. I pray that Catholics will risk getting their souls soiled in the voting both by voting for Romney instead of stuffing their lily-white hands in their pockets and doing nothing but pontificate about the evils of both candidates. Christ did not come for the clean. I’ve tried to understand these certain bloggers’ line of thinking, but have failed. I know that our political parties do not reflect the Kingdom, but so help me God, we need the courage to jump in the arena and fight. Do we not have the faith that God will see into our hearts and understand the pain we feel for the murder of our most defenseless and our passion for justice for them? Obama not only approves of abortion, but infanticide. It is truly monstrous.

    • http://reluctantliberal.wordpress.com Reluctant Liberal

      “Before we can even consider giving our needy brothers and sisters the necessities of life, we must first give the unborn a life to live.”

      This is simply not true. I know lots of pro-choice people who are deeply committed to the issues of housing, welfare, employment, and health care. In fact, these people, people who work diligently for the necessities of life, are put off from the pro-life movement because it seems completely apathetic to these concerns. If abortion and euthanasia were made illegal tomorrow, do you think the pro-life movement would immediately turn its attention to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and giving healthcare to the sick?

      The idea that the pro-life movement has to spend all its energy fighting a few issues before it can get to other matters of human dignity is a lie. If the pro-life movement fought against poverty, it would make it easier to fight abortion (not to mention that poverty and lack of a support system for single mothers is a big driver of abortion). Pro-choice people look at the pro-life movement and they see a bunch of hypocrites who aren’t opposing war or poverty or the wealth gap or anything except abortion. IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IF THAT ARGUMENT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT TRUE. But it’s at least a very plausible complaint right now.

      • MarylandBill

        I think it is unfair to claim that pro-life supporters are apathetic to the needs of the poor. Indeed some of the best pro-life ministries are involved in helping to provide for needy mothers and their young children.

        That being said, priorities must be established. We are humans not God and therefore have limits on our resources and abilities. If the pro-life movement fought against every contributing factor to abortion (poverty, abuse, the permissive sex culture, etc.) there would essentially be nothing left to actually fight for the life of the unborn. I also believe that some of these issues are not going to be resolved on this Earth. Think about how the efforts of liberals in the 60s to provide affordable housing and welfare backfired.

        I am not saying that pro-life activists shouldn’t support other causes, because in fact many do. The apparent “apathy” of the pro-life movement really is based on the fact that many liberals essentially have lumped all conservatives (social, economic, libertarian and other) into one tent. Since the pro-life movement tend to vote conservative, liberals assume they must not do anything for the poor since obviously they oppose government programs for the poor (Which not all do, but even if they did, that is not the same as not helping the poor).

  • veritas

    Father,
    The first words of your reply to Korou were exactly the same words that sprang into my mind when I read his post.

    12 weeks, 10 weeks, 8 weeks, 6weeks, 2 weeks etc – so what! We are talking about a miraculous rapidly growing highly organized group of cells which is daily becoming a recognizable human being.

    The interesting thing is that pro abortionists will make a great deal about the fact that a new fetus is nothing like a human being and therefore killing it is of no consequence, then the same pro abortionists will gladly support abortion of a 8 or 9 month baby, which could be easily born and live as a fully formed human child.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll keep saying it – abortion comes straight out of the vile mind of Satan. It is his hatred of life, especially of the most vulnerable.

    • Korou

      So, Veritas, you would be opposed to aborting a zygote? A tiny clump of cells you can only see with a microscope?
      For people who don’t believe that Satan exists, how would you justify that?

      • MarylandBill

        Simple, the age of the unborn child is irrelevant. Even Peter Singer, who supports abortion, recognizes that about the only time you can point stop a pregnancy without killing a human being is by preventing the pregnancy from happening in the first place. Ontologically, there is no point after fertilization where one can point to an essential change in the character of the child.

        In other words, if you support abortion, then to be ethically consistent, you need to come up with a good reason why killing post birth children and adults is still wrong. This is the reason I think ethics is really the practice of justifying evil acts.

      • John

        You were once a zygote

  • Genty

    You have omitted the back-up argument for abortion: that the embryo/fetus is a parasite on the woman. That clinches the argument, of course, as does the viability issue. A newborn remains a parasite and unviable, so the two medical ethicists who concluded that infanticide is perfectly acceptable up to the age of two years have produced a logical argument for it.
    Then there is the evidence from the leading abortion campaginer Dr. Bernard Nathanson, said to have overseen the performance of some 75,000 abortions, including one on his own child carried by a girlfriend. But science advances and when he saw on ultrasound how the unborn child recoils from the forceps of the abortionist, resisting all attempts on its life, he stopped his murderous work and became an active pro-lifer.

  • jose

    Nice drawing. Here’s an actual photography of a 12 week old fetus. You know, for accuracy’s sake.

    • Niemand

      It’s a little larger than life, still. The actual size of a 12 week old fetus is about 5 cm.

      • jose

        You got it friend. 5cm it is.

        To commenters who say size and weight and form and age don’t matter: could you tell that to Fr Longenecker, so he won’t waste his time trying to convince people of how much it matters what the embryo looks like at 12 weeks?

        • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

          I’m not sure what your point is. Are you saying the unborn child should be allowed to be killed because it is small or that it should not be killed because it is small?

          • jose

            Why is that inaccurate drawing still up there? Do you not care about reality?

          • Niemand

            The point is the drawing is inaccurate and designed to exploit people’s emotions. Here’s a picture of a fetus with anencephaly, a typical reason for a 2nd trimester abortion for comparison.

    • Susan D.

      Still looks human to me. Although whether or not a fetus looks human is irrelevant to the discussion.

  • Mike S.

    The question that I’ve come to ask the pro-choice people is “What will you say to your baby when you see them in heaven?”

    • Niemand

      If that fantasy comes true, why not say, “I’m so glad you’ve been in Heaven all this time instead of suffering on Earth and being at risk of ending up in Hell.”?

      • http://industrialblog.powerblogs.com IB Bill

        And there’s the pro-death argument.

  • Ginny

    “If abortion and euthanasia were made illegal tomorrow, do you think the pro-life movement would immediately turn its attention to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and giving healthcare to the sick?”

    I think the Church is committed to providing the necessities of life to the needy. Please read Pope Benedict’s DEUS CARITAS EST, specifically Part II.

    “The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live “by bread alone” (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.”

  • http://www.patheos.com Deacon Tom

    Archbishop Chaput from Philadelphia said it very well, i.e., if we don’t take care of the poor we will surely go to hell. Jesus told us as much, e.g., the rich man with Lazarus at the gate. But Chaput also explained that we Catholics can reasonably disagree on the correct way to tax, budget, and how to provide for the poor. Chaput contrasted that salient point with the nonnegotiable, intrinsic evil of abortion-there can be no negotiation about abortion and it must always be opposed. That is the Church teaching, not the personal opinions of pro-lifers. Reluctant liberal appears to be voicing the oft-heard claim that we should not spend so much effort on pro-life issues, and that providing for the poor and needy somehow off-sets or is more important than combating the evil of abortion. I read Ginny as merely pointing out the hypocracy of providing for the poor and needy while killing the unborn–there is no more important right than the right to life. The Catholic Church does not suggest either/or. The Church provides more care for the poor and needy world-wide than any other social service agency, based on the numbers I read within the last year. But the Church will never back down from protecting the dignity of every human life, including the unborn. I leave you with an irony comparable with the desire to help the poor while killing the unborn–US law recently changed to require that the descriptive term “Handicapped” not be used to describe “individuals with disabilities.” Not necessarily a bad thing, but this change was championed by the female US senator from MD, also a champion of a woman’s right to kill her unborn including those identified with disabilities through prenatal testing. There was a deadly silence about the abortions conducted after prenatal testing identifies Down’s syndrome or other abnormalities. We can’t call them names, but we can kill them before we have to worry about it.

  • FW Ken

    contra Reluctant Liberal -

    Pro-choice people lie about pro-lifers. The largest pro-life organization in the world – the Catholic Church – has a long history of building and running hospitals, schools, family support services, homeless services, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, regional aid societies, and so on.

    Moreover, there its a real difference between “advocating” for the poor and helping the poor. The former is usually political action (not a bad thing in and of itself), the latter is personal.

  • Niemand

    the Catholic Church – has a long history of building and running hospitals,

    And occasionally advocating the killing of patients at said hospitals. See this hospital. Not to mention the occasional dumping of uninsured patients on public hospitals. Not as often as for-profits do, but often enough.

  • FW Ken

    Niemand, your link goes to a story about a hospital stripped of its Catholic status over doing what your said Catholic hospitals do. As to dumping patients, I personally saw that happen when the liberal order of nuns couldn’t run the hospital anymore and they hired a management company. On the other hand, when I was a kid, the local charity hospital was Catholic run.

    • Niemand

      FW, they lost their status as a Catholic hospital because they saved the patient’s life when the bishop demanded that she and her fetus die. Explain to me how this is “pro-life”.

  • Ryan Meeks

    Once conception occurs, that fertilized egg is a living human organism, just like you and me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilisation

    If you kill “John” (our hypothetical living human organism) no matter how early after conception, you kill 1st trimester John, 2nd trimester John, 3rd trimester John, John at birth, John on his first birthday, John on his first day of kindergarten, John on his first date, John on his wedding day, John… you get the point, I hope.

    You cannot deny the scientific fact that is conception, and what it creates- a living human organism. The “scientific” secularists should be our biggest ally in this fight in the face of the these facts- how sad that they choose sentiment over reason.

  • Niemand

    I’m currently reading two threads about abortion: one by an author who is predominantly pro-choice, and this one. Few people who take the opposite position comment on either thread, despite both authors being reasonably open to opposing views. This worries me almost more than either viewpoint.

  • veritas

    Then hypocrisy and lying of the pro abortionists is breathtaking!
    Here they are arguing about the size of the baby in the picture as though that makes all the difference and yet, as I said before, theses same hypocrites are perfectly happy to allow the killing of a child right up to 9 months.

    Here is my city just a few months ago a baby was aborted alive and allowed to suffocate to death in a metal dish for 40 minutes.

    Any protest about cruelty from the pro abortionists and the Greens? Not on your life.
    These supporters of child murder care nothing about the reality of human life.

  • FW Ken

    Sad to say, Niemand reduces to a straw man argument the one serious pro-choice argument: the life of the mother. Of course, the bishop didn’t demand anything, except to assert the worth of the child’s life. Your faith in medical omniscience is touching, but I have the story about the mother who tried to get pregnant for 12 years. When she did, she also got cancer in one of her legs. Abort the baby, the doctor’s said, and take treatment. Well, she carried the baby to term, the cancer was cured, and she went on to have 4 or 5 more kids, dancing at each of their weddings.

    I already know the possible responses to that story, first of all it’s an anecdote. Other women have died. Of course, women have killed the baby and died anyway. It’s a broken world we live in. But my question to you, Niemand is this: do you really believe Catholics have not done yeoman’s work in social services? Sure, you can find some mud to sling, if it makes you feel better; there is always mud to sling if you look far enough. There are always anecdotes to tell, on either side of a question. But do they prove anything?

    • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

      Tell me, whom do you trust more to know the probable outcomes of a case: a priest, or doctors with training in medical science?

      Because if its the doctors, then what the priest did is wrong, no matter how you spin it.

  • Andreas Kjernald

    The root cause to all of this is of course if the fetus is a person or not. No matter what you think it looks like and no matter what stage of development the cells are, it simply comes down to whether or not the unborn president, car-mechanic or teacher is a person or not.

    When does the unborn president become a person? Well, if you believe that persons are only matter and no spirit, no soul, then I guess you must believe that when the matter present for a person is in the womb then that is a person. If you believe that persons are more than matter, say matter plus a spirit and a soul, then you must also believe that the unborn president is a person when the matter and the soul are present in the womb. When is that? Well, since we don’t know exactly when a person gains a soul or a spirit or both…why take the enormous risk of murdering a person.

    Either way, abortion simply doesn’t stand up to reason, but then again, who says that reason has anything to do with it? According to statistics the vast majority of abortions happen for economic or selfish reasons (interfering with lifestyle or work, concern for financial stability, maintaining the current family/no child lifestyle, bad timing*). I am amazed that a modern and free society would not only encourage killing for these reasons, subduing the most basic of instincts (that of the love and protection between mother-child) but actively label those who offer alternatives “bigots”.
    Wouldn’t it be more free, just and loving to offer support and assistance to those who truly couldn’t provide for the unborn presidents while at the same time setting harsh punishments for fathers abandoning their girlfriends/wives/one-night stands?

    *Source: “On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI). http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/
    AGI is connected to PP.

  • FW Ken

    I trust God my loving father.

    Doctors are fallible. Read the story: there its no priest who did anything relative to the abortion (or lack of one in my anecdote). It was women making choices, which is what you prop-choice say you are about.

  • http://www.srcf.ucam.org/erics/?p=68 Luxury reo homes mn

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
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  • Trina

    Pro-lifers really miss the point. (Really their name should be anti-women).

    No-one has a right to co-opt another’s body. No one has the right to make a slave of another.

    The rights of the actual human being trump the rights of the potential human being.

    If I had kidney disease, and needed a new kidney, do I have the right to force you to give one of yours to me? What about if I’m dying? If I will die without a kidney, and you have two when you can get by with one? In this scenario, I rely on mr or mrs organ donor to live, yet I may not force them to give me a kidney.


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