Abortion Issues: When Does Life Begin?

by CJFosdick on December 3, 2008

3500 abortions each day

Image by NCinDC via Flickr

One of the most controversial questions in abortion issues is when life begins. Conservative America generally believes that life begins at conception, while Democratic liberals seem to agree that life begins at birth. Some conservative progressives think life begins at the quickening of the fetus. Among abortion issues, this one single query is the most hotly debated, because almost all abortion laws stem from this unanswered question. The original Supreme Court Decision on abortion was Roe vs. Wade, passed in 1973, which gave American women the legal right to have abortions, thereby changing the very fabric of American life. After all these years, abortion is more divisive, if possible, than it was thirty-five years ago.
So when does life begin? Let us think of a seed. Have you ever planted a bean in a see-through container full of dirt — you know, just a dried, hard, seemingly dead bean to be thrown into the pot and cooked for supper? When you plant and water this bean, in this “moment of conception,” before any life shows, does the seed have life, or is it just still an nonliving thing? It takes a few days before you can begin to see a slender root beginning to grow from the bottom of the seed and at the same time a green bump at the top. Has a new life begun yet, even though there is no sign of it above ground? You can see the plant growing because of the transparent side to container, just as a doctor can see the beginnings of a fertilized “seed” through a microscope, which is the human embryo starting to grow. But with the unaided eye, we can see no sign of new life.  I ask again of the bean, has a new life begun, even though we can’t see it above ground? A few days later, at the top of the soil in the container, you will see a lump breaking the soil, and shortly after, a tiny green stem will struggle to live above ground. This can be compared to birth, when we can actually seen new life with our naked eye. At this point, I think everyone can see the new plant — the new tiny baby just born. Want do you think? When does life actually begin?

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