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Straight Talk about Abortion

Jimmy Akin

Every year it kills more people than heart disease, stroke, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, accidents, murder, and war—put together.

It kills almost as many people as all other causes combined.

It is the single largest preventable cause of death.

It is abortion.

Every year around 44 million children die before birth due to induced abortion. By comparison, only 57 million people die after birth from all causes of death annually. Abortion is by far the biggest killer today.

Yet few realize the gravity of the situation. Many have been deceived into thinking that abortion doesn’t really kill children, and others—who do recognize the humanity of the unborn—simply do not understand the urgency of the problem.

That is why it is time for straight talk about abortion.

Facts About Unborn Children

A new human being comes into existence at the moment of conception, when the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg unite. From this very first moment, the child has a complete genetic code—different from anyone else’s. If nature is allowed to take its course, he will swiftly grow and develop and, in nine months’ time, be born.

Along the way there are several milestones. Around a week after conception, the child “implants,” or attaches to the mother’s womb to receive nutrients from her body.

Around three weeks after conception the child has a heart that is pumping his own blood (frequently a different type than the mother’s).

By the fifth week the child is developing eyes, hands, and legs. The next week his brainwaves are strong enough to be detected by current medical devices.

In the seventh week he has both fingers and toes and is kicking and swimming in the womb. By the eighth week the baby has every organ of the body and is forming his own, unique set of fingerprints.

By the ninth and tenth week, teeth and fingernails are growing, and the baby can turn his head and frown. He also hiccups, sucks his thumb, and reacts to loud noises. A week later he begins grasping objects placed in his hand and can smile.

By week twelve, his nervous system is developed enough to feel pain.

Additional growth and development occurs during the remainder of pregnancy. For example, by week seventeen the baby experiences REM (rapid eye movement) sleep—a sign that he is dreaming.

Milestones such as these—as well as images taken from within the womb—illustrate the humanity of the unborn child in a profound way. Thanks to modern technology, today we have a clear understanding of the stages we all passed through when we ourselves were in the womb.

Undeniable Logic

The logic of the pro-life position is straightforward and undeniable:

1)      Deliberately killing an innocent human being is always wrong.

2)      Abortion deliberately kills an innocent human being.

3)      Therefore, abortion is always wrong.

The argument is so simple that even a child can understand it. If the two premises are true then the conclusion that follows from them is also true.

As we will see in future posts, the premises are rock solid, and the argument is sound.

This post is based on material found in Catholic Answers’ informative booklet Straight Talk About Abortion. To get your copy, use the link below
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