For everything comes from God alone. Every living thing by his power and everything is for His Glory. [Romans 11:36]. Likewise, when anything fulfils its purpose in creation, it brings Glory of God (Rick Warren, 2002). We see the glory of God in everything, from the smallest microscopic form of life, to the vast Milky Way, in the sunsets and stars to storms and seasons.
But one of most marvels of God’s glory lies in Human creation. From the book of Genesis, the bible tells as that it’s only the human being that did not come to being by word of mouth. God took his time to mould man, and breathe life into him, after which he appointed him to be a co-creator. But before that, he created woman from him-man.
It is the main holy purpose of co-creation that a child comes to being, whom God explains to us in Jeremiah that He forms, puts its bones together, and assigns the new creation a responsibility, a purpose in this world (Before you were born, I consecrated you, Jer. 1:5).
Debates have come up on when life begins, but how can we tell when life begins, when that which gives life is life itself? Human development begins at conception and fetal development is one of the most amazing stories one will ever hear.
Human development begins at fertilization. When else does a baby become human? From the instant the male gamete (sperm) fuses with the female gamete (egg), a unique human being comes to being, with his or her own DNA, different from those of his mother and father. In the first day, the first four cell divisions take place as the blastocyst travels down the mother’s fallopian tubes towards the uterus. In days 5-9, the blastocyst now consisting of about 256 cells implants in the uterus. After 14 days, the mother’s menstrual period is suppressed by her child’s chemical signals.
On the 20th day, the baby’s heart is in the advanced stages of formation. His/her eyes begin to form. His/her brain, spinal column, and nervous system are virtually complete, and at 24 days, the preborn baby’s heart begins to beat.
After 28 days, the baby’s muscles start developing. His/her arm and leg buds are visible, and her first neocortical cells appear. The neocortex is the seat of complex thinking and reasoning, and it is present in no other mammal. The preborn child has grown in size by a factor of 10,000 since fertilization. Blood flows in the baby’s own veins, separate from her mother’s blood.
By week 13, the preborn child’s movements are vigorous and graceful. His/her vocal chords are present, and, in rare cases babies have been heard crying. The sex of the baby can be determined. He/she can now hear.
At day 42, the baby’s heart energy output is an incredible 20% that of an adult’s already. The cartilage skeleton is completely formed and ossification into bone begins. The baby’s brain coordinates voluntary movement of muscles and the involuntary movement of organs. Reflex responses are present. The baby’s mother misses her second menstrual period. And at day 43, the preborn baby’s brain waves can be recorded. By the 45th day, the baby begins spontaneous and voluntary body movements, and her milk teeth buds are present.
After 8 weeks of development in the womb, the preborn baby is about 1-1/2 inches long and 1/30 of an ounce in weight. All organs are present, complete, and functioning except the lungs. His/her stomach produces digestive juices, her liver makes blood cells, and her kidneys are functioning. His/her taste buds are forming and her unique fingerprints are being engraved. His/her eyelids and the palms of her hands are sensitive to touch. And by the 9th week, the preborn baby can bend his/her fingers around an object placed in her palm. Her fingernails are forming and she sucks her thumbs. In week 10, all sections of the preborn baby’s body are sensitive to touch. He/she swallows, squints, frowns, and puckers up his/her brow. If his/her palm is stroked, he/she will make a tight fist.
At 5 Months, the preborn baby has formed her own unique sleeping habits and responds to sounds that are of frequencies that exceed adults’ audible range. He/she may be soothed to sleep by gentle music. Fine hair grows on his/her head and eyebrows. At 7 Month, his/her eyes open and close and he/she explores his/her surroundings. His/her hands can support his/her entire weight at this time. He/she recognizes her mother’s voice.
In the final six weeks of gestation, the baby gains about an ounce of weight per day. Of the 45 total generations of cell replication that will take place by mature adulthood, 41 have already taken place. The baby now has about two trillion cells. The remaining four generations of cell replication will occupy all of the person’s childhood and young adulthood. In developmental terms as measured by cell replication, we spend 90% of our lives in the uterus.
Going through the development of the human person in the uterus, we notice that a child is as human in day one as any other human being at whatever age. Then we understand why pregnant women always look forward to the first kick of the baby, the ultra-sounds and fathers try very hard to feel the child’s heart beat on the mum’s tummy, and talk to their babies in the womb. It is a fact that makes us all celebrate life, and organize parties when the baby comes home from hospital after being brought safely into this world. It is a day when all people want to buy congratulatory cards and take pictures with the new born baby. It is this same respect for the unborn that if anyone kills a pregnant woman in the United States of America, he/she will be charged with two counts of murder.
It is this fact that makes us condemn the act of abortion as murder, violence against the unborn child. The most unfortunate thing is that the violence is not only against the child, but also against the mother as well. We are introducing the culture of killing by tolerating and advocating for abortion. If we can accept a mother to kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill? (Mother Theresa of Calcutta).
If comparison was to be made between murder charges of a child or an adult and the unfiled murder cases against the unborn, then the degree of violence is extreme. Maybe because of the fact that the unborn is dismembered and removed piece by piece from the womb, or sucked out by a vacuum machine with 29 times the power of a vacuum cleaner and the baby ejected as foam, or maybe it’s because the baby’s comfort of the amniotic fluid is injected with a chemical that burns up the baby’s skin and as the baby inhales the chemical it dies, or maybe it’s because the baby is just grabbed by the forceps and forced out of its comfort, and since the head is developed, its crushed and the brain matter removed. The mother’s womb is transformed from its purpose of being the baby’s comfort to its death bed, the darkness of a tomb where only the dead belong. Either way if anyone had a choice on how they would want to die, no one would want to experience the agony experienced by the unborn child during an abortion process.
The mother on the other hand lives to bear the consequences, guilt and shame of the violent acts. Her uterus may be perforated, she may bleed to death and she may lose her consequent pregnancies in miscarriages due to disturbances to the cervix during an abortion process among other physical, social and psychological effects.
It is such effects that are making United States of America, after legalizing abortion in 1970, come up with Acts of parliament, I.E. Abortion Depression Research and Care Act, which directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the emotional impact of abortion on women and set up treatment programs to help these women. This arose due to mental health issues facing millions of American women who have procured abortions. Congress man Joe Pitts, the force behind the act argued that, women deserve to know the truth about the long term effects on their mental and emotional well being and women who have had abortions deserve to have mental health professionals who acknowledge the emotional impact and have the tools to treat it.
Like I quoted before in the beginning of the passage, when anything fulfils its purpose in creation, it brings Glory of God. Let us embrace the culture of life, and let the womb be a home of the unborn, not the death bead. In letting the child grow, the womb is glorifying God, just because it’s serving the purpose with which it was created. The late Pope John Paul 2 once said that the act of conjugal love is holy. It then goes without saying that the fruit of conjugal love is holy too, and so is the place designed for it to dwell the first 9 months of its life on earth.
No one has the authority to harm life. God alone is the master of life. And whatever way we may try to justify abortion, whether the mother’s life is in danger or not, whether a child was due to rape or not, whether the pregnancy was from incest or not, we do not have the authority to choose who dies and who lives. Every one receives life from him and must return it into his hands. Let life be, let creations be, let the womb be, and let the child be, for he/she is born of God.