Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Stirring Aborted Fetus Video

There's an amazing video going around Facebook that I should share, and it's bound to make the pro-life people go ape. But I'm showing it anyway, because I worship Truth rather than some pre-literate-era deity, and because I'm demonstrating that I'm unafraid of anything my opponents might have to say. Yeah, that's right, I serve the truth straight up, no ice, no soda.

First, let me remind everyone of my position regarding abortion. I argue that the brain's development, not conception, defines the onset of a being. Republicans have accidentally admitted as much with their recent push to ban abortions at 20 weeks because that's the point they feel a fetus can begin to feel pain. That point is both wrong and arbitrary, because it has been determined that the point a fetus begins to feel pain is more like 29 to 30 weeks. (For more info, go to's website on that issue. I've included a link to it here.) The brain defines the being, and that means without a functioning cerebral cortex, a being's individual life, by any measure, has not yet truly begun. Or, to put it into spiritual terms, the soul hasn't entered the body yet.

In this video, you'll clearly see the fetus move in response to the physician's hand touching the placenta. This makes perfect sense, because the part of the brain that governs movement is the cerebellum, or hind-brain, and this forms very early on. Although it continues development later, it begins functioning at around 10 weeks, at which point it goes through a kind of "systems check," and the fetus begins to move quite a bit. Interestingly, this is usually the point at which a woman is required to do an ultrasound by certain states whose laws try to discourage abortions. After this point, however, the fetus goes into a kind of stasis, where it can move, but does so sparingly.

In other words, what you are about to see is a fetus capable of movement yet incapable yet of thought or feeling. You're seeing the beginnings of what will later be a "being" in the true sense of the word, but which has not yet crossed that threshold, because the brain hasn't reached that point. Again, to put it into spiritual terms, this is the empty clay cup, not yet finished baking, into which "God" (or whatever deity you will) will pour the "soul" into. But for now, it's an empty shell - a body without any "spirit," if you will.

Here is the video:

To my inexperienced and untrained eye, the fetus shown in this video appears to be about 16 or 17 weeks into development. (That's a guess, mind you.) As such, the fetus can move, and does so when prodded. But the cerebral cortex has not yet fully formed, and as such there is no conscious perception going on. There is no pain, no pleasure, no sensation at all to be frank.

Will this video pluck at the heart strings of those who feel abortion is murder? Undoubtedly. Will some be convinced to turn to the pro-life side of the argument? I'm certain that's so. But the brain defines the being, period. And that means that the snuffing out of this life (and yes, it's alive) can be done ethically, because while it may be both alive and human, it is not yet a human "being." For that, you need a developed brain.

Let's hope anti-abortion activists grow one.



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