As a result of the last two post some really great questions have been raised! We are loving all the responses and questions, although most of them have not been commented on the blog, but in phone calls, conversations and emails. Phyllis has responded to the question that has come up the most... "How do you determine that the fertilized egg is a baby at the time of fertilization as opposed to after it implants in the uterus (or sometime later)?"
This question is key to understanding the moral issues with certain birth control methods. We fully understand that there are ALOT of people who do not believe the way we do about this issue so we thought it would best if we "Cleared the Air" on how we come to these conclusions. We would LOVE to hear yours so please feel free to comment!
Again this is just a clip of what Phyllis wrote...please please please stop in and read the rest!
"Regarding the issue of fertilization vs. implantation as the point of imparted personhood, I don't think we need a ton of medical statistics to think wisely and correctly about this issue. Thank goodness! However, in order to come to a right conclusion, I think we do need to have a basic understanding of the process of human reproduction. So here goes... You start with "the act" (quoting the grandmother of one of our good friends). The sperm travel from the man, through the vagina, through the cervix, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tubes. There is generally one egg sitting in one fallopian tube. Some of the sperm make it through the treacherous obstacle course, get all the way to the egg, and attempt to break through the wall of the egg. One gets in, and the two cells (egg and sperm) mesh all their information and become one cell. Their DNA links pair up to form the complete chromosomal make-up of the baby.
The new cell immediately starts multiplying as one unit. It's a life with all the information necessary to develop throughout pregnancy, childhood, adulthood, and right up through death. The group of cells continues to multiply as it moves out of the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it finds a nice place to implant and acquire necessary nutrients for continued growth (FYI--the placenta grows as an organ of the baby--with the baby's genetic makeup and not the mother's--and begins to function on its own over the course of the next two weeks).
The implantation into the uterus prompts the mother's body to produce a hormone called hCG, which basically tells the mother's brain to continue producing progesterone and estrogen in proportions that will not prompt the sluffing off of the uterine lining (and the baby). So you have a blessed 9 months without periods (or if you're like me, more like 21 months if you include the post-birth period-free time)!
These are all amazing functions of implantation in the uterus, but neither the nourishment nor the signal to the mother's hormones do anything to change the make-up of the "group of cells" that already existed. That, to me, is the profound truth that we need to understand. Basically, the cells implant in order to be nourished to keep growing and developing. They are not changed in any way. They were already living, completely-human cells and a sole entity before they implanted. The uterus imparts no humanity on the group of cells since they are completely-human cells on their own before they get to the uterus.
One way to look at it is this... I can make it a while without food and water, but if I go more than a few days with no nourishment or hydration at all, I will die. Once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, the two mesh together to form the complete genetic make-up of a human being, the "cell group" begins to multiply, and then travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus, it's just fresh out of juice! It needs nourishment, or else it will die. This is a common problem for humans at all stages, and it begins at fertilization.
The egg and sperm combo is a developing life right from the very beginning. It is a complete unit that simply needs nourishment to keep going. If we do things to alter the lining of the uterus so as to prevent implantation, all we are doing is preventing the nourishment of the already-existing life... so it dies. This is why we see any process, procedure, device, or chemical that contributes to the death of this life as abortifacient. It's either directly causing the already-living, completely and fully human life to die or removing its provision for survival. When we consider born humans, we see that there are ways to directly extinguish them (pushing them out of moving cars, shooting, etc.), and there are ways to prevent the provision of sustaining nutrition for them, so they end up dying on their own (i.e. locking them in a room without food and water). Either way, the end result is that the person is not alive anymore."Next up....Part four: The What If's. I am working up a post about all the what if's that come up in regard to Birth Control and Family Planning like: What if my husband is not on board with my convictions regarding Birth Control? What if I am on the Pill for medical reasons (endometriosis or mood swings)? etc....DON'T MISS IT!
This is SOOO FUN thanks for joining us!