Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
“Gianna, a young woman who survived a saline abortion* at 17 years old and 7 1/2 months pregnant, shared her story in 1996 before a U.S. government committee addressing the topic of abortion. With her body parts clearly developed at the time of the abortion attempt, it is evident that Gianna was a person, as she continued her life outside the womb.
* A saline abortion is a procedure where a harmful salt solution is injected into a woman’s uterus, which the fetus ingests and typically results in their death within two hours. The woman will then usually go into labor and deliver a stillborn or, in rare cases, a dying fetus about 24 hours later.
However, what about Gianna when she was a five-week-old embryo, measuring only a third of an inch [1 cm] in length? At this stage, her body parts were not fully formed, but the foundation for her nervous system, including her brain, had been established. Additionally, her heart was already beating 80 times per minute, circulating blood through her vessels. Considering Gianna was unmistakably a person after seven and a half months in the womb, could it not be logically deduced that she was also a person at five weeks—albeit in a less developed state?
The question of when human life begins is complex and often debated. However, the Bible provides insight into the sanctity of life, even at its earliest stages. For instance, in Psalm 139:13-16 (ASV), the psalmist writes: “For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.”
This passage reveals that God is intimately involved in the creation and development of a person from the very beginning of their existence in the womb. Even when a human being is in an embryonic state, their life is significant and valuable in the eyes of God. This perspective suggests that one might reasonably consider Gianna, as a five-week-old embryo, to be a person, even though her development was not yet complete.
The Miracle of Conception
In the beginning, the ovum of the woman is fertilized by a sperm cell of the man, and thus a new life is created. The nucleus of this one-celled fertilized egg undergoes remarkable changes, and scientists now have the technology to witness these changes firsthand.
It is through the combination of the father and mother’s DNA that a unique human life is formed. This single cell that begins the construction of a human being is truly miraculous. Our genes, which are segments of DNA, control all aspects of our physical traits, including our height, facial features, and even eye and hair color.
As the original cell divides, the complete genetic blueprint is duplicated into each new cell, and each one is programmed to develop into a specific type of cell that is needed for the construction of a fully formed human. This includes everything from heart tissue, brain cells, bone, skin, and even the transparent tissue in our eyes.
Dr. David Fu-Chi Mark, a renowned molecular biologist, concluded that each human being is completely unique from the moment of fertilization. “The human being is fully programmed for human growth and development for his or her entire life at the one cell age,” he reported. Therefore, the initial programming within the original cell for the development of a unique new person is rightly considered “a miracle.”
A Person Inside the Womb?
From the moment of conception in the womb, the child is not merely a part of the mother’s body, but a distinct and separate person. The mother’s body recognizes it as foreign, and it would be rejected if not for the protective environment created in the womb. This new life, separated from the mother by protective barriers, is a person with a unique DNA fingerprint.
Some argue that a woman’s body naturally aborts many fertilized eggs due to abnormalities, and therefore, it should be acceptable for a doctor to perform an abortion. However, there is a significant difference between spontaneous death and intentional homicide. In one South American country, 71 out of 1,000 children die before their first birthday. But just because many die prematurely, it does not make it acceptable to kill a child under the age of one.
The Bible speaks clearly about the existence of human life in the womb. The psalmist David wrote about God, “Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing” (Psalm 139:16). David does not refer to “an embryo” but “the embryo of ME,” indicating that his life began at conception, long before his birth. Under God’s inspiration, David also reveals that the development of his body parts at conception followed a plan, with detailed instructions that made him the person he was.
It is worth noting that the Bible does not describe a woman conceiving a piece of tissue. Instead, it states, “An able-bodied man has been conceived!” (Job 3:3), which indicates that a child exists as a person from the moment of conception. Indeed, that is when human life begins.