Saturday, October 9, 2010

40 Days, and worth a thousand words

Some of the best arguments against abortion don't need to take the form of words.

Human, approximately six weeks gestation.

Human, approximately ten weeks gestation.
Human, approximately twelve weeks gestation.

Human, approximately sixteen weeks gestation.

Human, approximately twenty-one weeks gestation.
Human, 23 weeks gestation. You can read her story here.
A great many women have abortions between six and twelve weeks of gestation; to get an even better look at what these unborn humans look like, visit the image and video gallery of this site. I hasten to say, to my pro-abortion readers, that the EHD site is neutral on abortion and takes no position either way--their interest is scientific and technical, not ideological.

In the very earliest stages of pregnancy, before a mom even knows she's pregnant (let alone schedules an abortion), the baby's humanity may not yet be as visible as these images reveal. But that doesn't matter--we are not human because of what we look like, but because of our intrinsic reality. Every one of us was once the same age and size as these little ones, above, and we were as human, and as deserving of the right to live, then as we are now.

UPDATE: Spoke to my sister today--one of my little nephews saw her looking at this post, and said, "Oh, look at all the cute little babies!" Children see clearly what we struggle to recognize.

UPDATE TWO: I have removed images and linked to them instead, for copyright reasons.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

At 23 weeks you have a point. I've become very close to a preemie who fell out of his mother prematurely and needed oxygen, followed by all kinds of operations, who is now walking with braces and crutches, and up to date on the homework for his fifth grade class. I found other sources made a good case that the 2nd/3rd trimester line should be pushed back to around Week 23. There is clearly a complex central nervous system by that time, able to respond to external stimuli in a more than mindless reflexive way.

But the earlier pictures don't remind me at all of the 18 month old baby I picked up today when I was taking her older brother out to pick apples. No the same thing at all.

The Cottage Child said...

"But the earlier pictures don't remind me at all of the 18 month old baby I picked up today when I was taking her older brother out to pick apples. No the same thing at all."

Oh, JS - you're so right!! No child is the same as another, at any given moment. Just like no sub-adult looks like a geriatric. That's the nature of intrinsic beauty. What a relief that we don't have to rely on our subjective opinions, only truth, when we seek appreciate the value of the existence of all people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos. I am still an advocate for availability of Plan B.

eulogos said...

It's a continuum. If you don't kill it, it will become that 18 month old. What will be a human being is already a human being.

Personally I find the pictures very difficult to look at because of my abortions and others that I know about.

Susan Peterson

Clare Krishan said...

I think in all fairness, Erin, four out of the six images are of *deceased* humans, and ought be handled as such with respect and prayer - do you want your naked dead corpse plastered on a blog to make the point against euthanasia when the day comes that that may be necessary?

Using snapshots for selfish reasons is utilitarianism, the same sin you're accusing those mothers who fail to recognise the nature of the prematurely dead people that depended on them to gestate at all. Be honest "gestation" is not some surreal science-fiction dissociated process - its an intimate binding covenant between three persons, often times the newly creately third person points to a second person to whom or with whom the first person agent of the abortion has a conflicted relationship - the knowledge of the imperfections within that bond is what gives rise to the rhetorical *hatred* Erin indicates is directed towards the gestating baby, rather like the "Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?" points towards the child of a previous more beloved Queen, who provokes ire in the heart of the mythical evil stepmother (note the Brothers Grimm original has the MOTHER be the villain of the piece... prescient, but too disturbing for children, so it was toned down in later versions).

Red Cardigan said...

Clare, all due respect, but I am carefully using images that are respectful. There are some of miscarried babies which are not--and I make it a policy not to post graphic abortion images. But mothers who have lost little ones have sometimes given permission for these images to be used, and I'd be happy to replace the ones I have with ones where I know such permission has been granted.

Oh, and if somebody (God forbid!) someday needs to put images of my euthanized corpse on blogs, on TV and YouTube, on greeting cards and tee-shirts and anywhere else to make the point that euthanasia is evil, that permission is hereby granted in perpetuity, if I am in fact someday euthanized by unscrupulous agents of the government, doctors, or even family members. I also promise to haunt anyone involved in my untimely death to the point of repentance, God willing.

Susan, I'm sorry if these images were painful. Such is never my intention. But so many people pretend the unborn child is some formless lump of dead tissue instead of a living child.

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, and Clare, I see I have not addressed your point fully: was it selfish for journalists to show the horrors of the Holocaust, or of Vietnam, etc.? The dead bodies of Holocaust victims were not published selfishly or gratuitously, but because even then there was a tendency to deny the scope of the horrific evil.

Abortion is a horrific evil in our time that remains largely invisible, and which people deny is happening. While I prefer to use 3 and 4-D ultrasound images when I can, I dispute the idea that any posting of images is selfish and utilitarian. By that logic, the photos and images of Holocaust victims that finally drove home the sheer terrible scope of the evils of the Third Reich ought never have been used, because it was selfish and utilitarian to do so.

(And before anybody invokes Godwin, I just remind everyone that the similarity between millions of innocent humans being killed after being defined as subhuman, and--millions of innocent humans being killed after being defined as subhuman is hard to overlook.)

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Cottage Child, a two day old baby, even before mylenation, can look directly into my eyes and make contact. an 18 week old fetus could not. There is a difference.

Eulogos - I would never debate with you over your own abortion. You are the world's sole expert. You are also correct that the process is a continuum. It is difficult, if not impossible, to say that after a period of slow growth, there is a Eureka moment of unmistakable qualitative change. But three layers of tissue is not a baby, nor is the result of 30 weeks gestation a lump of tissue. In between, there is a transition that is difficult to measure.

There are, in my view, some legitimate reasons to end a pregnancy, and no sound basis for criminal legislation. It is best to err on the safe side in deciding the delicate balance between a woman making her decision free from societal compulsion, and a new life that society has every right and duty to protect.

The Cottage Child said...

Well, SJ, as long as you're satisfied with your own standards for "existence" I guess all is resolved? Since it's apparently about me assigning value arbitrarily, I guess lucky for you I think you're cute enough? Sorry, that "logic", isn't.

L. said...

Perhaps because I actually held the product of my miscarriage in my hand, these pictures don't bother me at all. But I fail to see how they're "cute."

Siarlys Jenkins said...

It doesn't matter if I think you're cute or vice versa. Neither one of us ever has been or ever could be aborted. There is no appeal from that fact.