Tag Archives: Conception
I have been born. My mom and dad are ecstatic.
For those of you who have been following my development, thank you. I hope that you have also used these last nine months to pray for all the pre-born children whose lives are in danger from abortion.
I am so glad that my mommy and daddy chose Life for me. All babies deserve a birthday.
Georgia Right to Life’s
2011 REACH Benefit
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7-9 pm
(Doors open at 6:30 pm)
Cobb Galleria 2 Galleria Pkway SE Atlanta, GA 30339
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Lahl, President
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
Tickets: $50 Table of 10: $500
Tickets/Information: (770) 339-6880
Jennifer Lahl couples her 25 years as a pediatric critical care nurse and hospital administrator with a deep passion to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. A courageous voice, Ms. Lahl has also produces a groundbreaking, award winning documentary on the solicitation of eggs from young women across America, Eggsploitation. This is, she says, the fertility industry’s ‘dirty little secret’. Just who is this egg donor? Is she treated justly? What are the short and long-term risks to her health? The answers to these questions will disturb you…
September 4th: Week 24
I have fine hair all over my body that is there to protect my skin. I will lose this before being born. I’m a little thin at this point but am putting on more baby fat. My eyes are formed, but my iris has no color. I think I want brown eyes. I weigh over a pound and am about a foot long. If I was born today, I’d have a fighting chance to survive. (about 50%)
September 11: Week 25
I’m really beginning to bulk up. I gained 6 ounces this week! I think most of it was muscle but also some bone mass and some organ development. My taste buds allow me to distinguish between bitter, sweet and sour. My lungs have developed so well, I’m now officially considered viable. I could live outside my mom. My parents have each contributed 15,000 genes that determined not only what I look like, but how I taste stuff, how athletic I will be, any allergies I might have and so much more. Ain’t genes great!! Especially if my dad is an athlete. Tee-hee-hee.
September 18: Week 26
Thousands and thousands of brain cells are growing in my head every day. That’s very cool. I’ll soon have billions of them. I can make a fist and grasp things. My spine is beginning to form to protect my spinal cord. I’m covered by a white cheesy substance that protects my skin. But, don’t worry, Mom, it comes off right after birth. Mom can also tell when I have the hiccups.
September 25: Week 27
My taste buds continue to form. I can taste sweet things now. My mom likes chocolate and so do I! A bright light can be seen by me through my mommy’s tummy. I have eyelashes and eyebrows, now. My fingerprints are fully formed and they are growing. I might need them clipped when I’m born. Mom’s womb is about the size of a soccer ball. Can I call her my “Soccer Mom?”
July 3rd – Week 15
Chris’ taste buds are working! Chris drinks more amniotic fluid and it tastes sweet. Chris’ pain sensory system is developing, but who would want to hurt Chris? Chris may be small, but he is growing fast. Mother enjoys the fireworks and celebrates the birth of our nation, but Chris doesn’t hear anything yet.
July 10th – Week 16
“Soon I will be able to grasp with my hands. What will I grasp? My other hand. Did you know that I have my own unique fingerprints, now? My fingernails and toenails are growing. I also have an adult’s taste buds. My eyebrows and hair on my head are sprouting. But it will probably change color and texture after birth. I’m kicking, twisting, and flailing really hard. But, mom can’t feel me moving, yet.”
July 17th – Week 17
“I’m getting a little baby fat under my skin. My heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons a day at a rate about double my mom’s. I can swim and kick and do somersaults! I’m the same size as my placenta now. I’m not a lightweight anymore – I weigh almost six ounces and I am about three inches long. I will keep growing until I’m 23 years old. I wonder how big I’m going to be?”
Mom might be able to hear tiny thumps of Chris’ heartbeat with an external monitor now.
July 24th – Week 18
“When I am sleeping, I have REM which means I am dreaming, but I can’t remember my dreams. My vocal cords have formed but I don’t make a sound–must be because there is no air in here. Isn’t it amazing that I’m able to breathe ‘underwater,’ inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid? I’m working on developing great lungs.”
Mother may begin to feel Chris flutter in her lower abdomen.
July 31st – Week 19
Chris can hear his mother’s heartbeat and some other funny noises that she makes. He is beginning to know her voice. His umbilical cord is an engineering marvel. It transports 300 quarts of fluid per day and completes a round trip of fluids every 30 seconds.
“Wow. I really like sucking my thumb! I wonder if mom is starting to ‘show’ me now.”
It seems that Personhood is repeatedly in the news – and rightfully so. Support is swelling right here in Georgia and across the nation for the personhood initiatives that seek to protect all human life from conception forward as a matter of constitutional law. It would restore respect and effective legal protection for all human beings, including the unborn. The idea is simple and bold and ultimately, may provide a direct challenge to the central holding of Roe v Wade, the landmark decision that made abortion legal in the United States.
In our time of science and technology, we know that life begins at conception. It would seem that confusion still exists. Modern medicine is not confused, however. The unborn child is their patient in genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, spina bifida and more. Consider the case of Samuel, a Georgia boy, operated on at 7 months of pregnancy. The surgery helped repair a major spinal defect and a healthy, active baby boy was the result. I have seen him captivate a room full of people with his bright, smiling face and of course, his favorite truck! Who is the patient, but a tiny unborn human being? These days we protect turtles, wolves, eagles, and whales, and yet we “do away” with babies at the rate of over 400,000 per year.
Legalized abortion has been a part of the American cultural scene since 1973. In the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun said that, “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment.” If an unborn child is a person, then their right to life trumps their mother’s right to choose their death. With the states passing of the Personhood Amendment the litigation would eventually be taken up by the Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme Court acts – or how – is an open debate. Previous challenges and pro-life strategies have been viewed in the courts as an attempt to take away from the rights of the mother. The recognition of unborn children as persons does not take away from the mother but recognizes unborn children with all legal rights and protection due them under the 14th amendment.
We cannot continue to diminish the value of any one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life. The personhood of the unborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns. This is not the first time America has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a year, or even a decade. The good news was that the minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. It will take time to educate, clearly frame and present the issue at hand. Change is possible, however… and it begins with you and with me.
Let Georgia Right to Life help you educate your local chapter, your church or the citizens of your community on the value of Personhood. Contact Suzanne Ward, Director of Public Relations & Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The summer before Katey Tryon’s senior year of high school, she
got pregnant. Recently split from her boyfriend, she was sad and vulnerable when
she hooked up with her older brother’s friend. They had sex once. Six weeks
later, she was tired and her period was late.
“It was terrifying,” Tryon said. “I’m from a small town in Oregon.
My parents are pillars in the community. I was born and raised here, fourth
generation. So my sin was very apparent.” Tryon’s parents, both believers,
rallied around her. Abortion was out of the question. Two days before high
school graduation, Tryon gave birth to a girl and gave her up for adoption.
Tryon enrolled in a Christian college in Portland, determined to
turn her life around, but still felt vulnerable. “I started dating a guy who
embraced me for what I had just gone through, who understood that I didn’t want
to have sex until I got married,” she said.
But they started sleeping together, and one night the condom
didn’t work. Over spring break, at an intercollegiate softball tournament, Tryon
found out she was pregnant again. Her daughter was nine months old. “My world
came crashing down tenfold from the first time,” she said.
Abortion was never a serious option, she said, although “trust me,
it went through my mind. I recognize why other women go there. You want to get
away from your situation. We want to cover up our mistakes and have them all go
Tryon found support at a local pregnancy center, which sparked in
her a fresh sense of purpose. She gave birth to a boy and gave him up for
adoption. She went back to college, double majoring in social work and
sociology. Eventually she became the development director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center in Eugene, Oregon.
In April, Tryon testified before the Oregon State Legislature
about how a pregnancy center changed her life for the better. A Senate committee
was considering a bill to force pregnancy centers to publicly post on doors, in
waiting areas, and in brochures that they are not abortion providers. If centers
did not post these notices in five days, they could be fined up to $1,000, up to
$5,000 if not posted in two weeks.
This is one of many new legislative initiatives on abortion, but
the majority of them are working in the other direction.
Flood of LegislationThe Oregon bill is one of 576 measures related to abortion that
have been introduced so far in 2011 in 48 states, according to Elizabeth Nash,
public policy associate for the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.
Like the Oregon bill, many of them will never pass committee. Yet
by early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber
of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142
bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access,
compared with 38 percent in 2010.
About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April.
- expanding the waiting period requirement in South Dakota from 24
hours to 72 hours, and requiring women to visit a crisis pregnancy center in the
- requiring a physician who performs an abortion in South Dakota to
provide counseling on all risk factors related to abortion.
- allowing any hospital employee in Utah to refuse to “participate
in any way” in an abortion.
- making it a felony in Arizona to perform or provide money for
abortions sought because of a baby’s race or sex.
- prohibiting insurance plans that participate in the state
insurance exchange from including abortion coverage in Virginia, Arizona, Idaho,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
- prohibiting the abortion of a fetus capable of feeling pain in
Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma. The organization National Right to Life
has drafted a model bill for pro-life lawmakers to use.
Republican victories in the 2010 mid-term elections account for
much of the legislative surge. Republicans won control of the House of
Representatives and made gains in the Senate. But their success at the state
level was more significant. They took 29 governorships and 680 seats in state
legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
It’s the largest gain in modern history. The previous record was
held by Democrats in the post-Watergate 1974 election, in which they picked up
628 seats. Republicans now control the governor’s office and both legislative
chambers of 21 states, according to the National Conference of State
“The November elections brought huge change in the state houses,”
said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. “But we’ve been
tilling this ground for a while.”
The forward momentum began, Yoest said, when the Supreme Court
upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007.
changed the minute I called for help.’—Katey Tyron, a director at Lane Pregnancy
“They chipped away at the absolute right to abortion,” Yoest said.
“The Supreme Court said that states do have the right to limit abortion. That
was a seismic shift.” Pro-life advocates began to see how far they could get
with restrictions, such as parental notification and informed consent laws, she
The legislation has been snowballing since the Republican sweep:
“Just in the first three months of this year, we’ve provided testimony on 17
life-related legislative matters,” she said. In previous years, the average
number of testimonies provided was two or three for the entire year.
Public Opinion ChangesRestricting abortion through new state laws seems to be highly
effective in reducing abortion rates.
“We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22 percent
between 1990 and 2005,” said Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama. “An important reason is the restrictions that more and
more states are passing.”
New examined the effects of three laws on abortion rates. Opting
not to fund abortions through Medicaid was most significant, dropping state
abortion rates by about 9 percent, he said.
“That’s a strong consistent finding,” he said, pointing to a
Guttmacher report that 20 of 24 peer-reviewed studies found that public funding
restrictions reduced the number of abortions. The second is informed-consent
laws, which require abortion providers to inform a woman about the potential
risks to her health, fetal development, and available assistance before an
abortion is performed. Those laws were connected with in-state abortion
reductions of 5 to 7 percent, he said.
New also analyzed parental involvement laws, which require minors
to either tell or get permission from their parents before having an abortion.
While these laws don’t have a large impact on the overall abortion rate, they
correlate with a 15 percent decline in in-state abortions obtained by
Recent pro-life legislation is changing gears, pushing for laws
that give women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion or
banning abortion after the fetus can feel pain. Fetal-pain laws have been a big
goal of National Right to Life. Director of state legislation Mary Spaulding
Balch told Christianity Today, “The Pain-Capable
Unborn Child Protection Act very clearly talks about the humanity of the unborn
child.” So far, abortion supporters have not initiated court challenges to the
new fetal-pain laws.
The effect on the abortion rate from pain-related or ultrasound
laws may not be dramatic, New said. Requiring ultrasounds can be tricky because
abortion providers have to self-enforce, and relatively few abortions are
performed after the second trimester, when the fetus begins to feel pain, he
But those laws are still important, New said. “You have to make
progress incrementally. We have made more progress than we think. We’ve
convinced a lot of people that abortion is wrong. Most doctors and hospitals
want nothing to do with it.”
Indeed, public opinion now lines up against abortion for the first
time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. In 2010, 47 percent of
Americans called themselves pro-life, while 45 percent identified as
The pro-life advantage held through three surveys, prompting
Gallup to label it a “real change in public opinion,” one that’s showing itself
at the polls.
Last year’s health care debate put abortion back on the national
stage, and President Obama had to issue an executive order strengthening the
limits on abortion to get the health care reform bill passed.
In addition, the House of Representatives passed a bill this
spring that would defund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in
the country. The bill failed in the Senate, but the victory in the House was
historic, Yoest said.
percent between 1990 and 2005. An important reason is the restrictions more and
more states are passing.’—Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama
“I absolutely think this is a swelling tide, regardless of what
happens in this particular skirmish. There is very much a future in terms of
bringing more and more attention to the massive federal subsidy of the abortion
CounteroffensiveAll this leaves the pro-choice movement “definitely defensive,”
said Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. “We need to make the case for why these
services are important.”
The public questioning of Planned Parenthood is “a major shift,”
said Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, a network of more than 1,000
Care Net’s pregnancy centers are among the targets of the
pro-choice counteroffensive. New York City’s new disclosure law is “the most
difficult thing we’re facing,” she said. The law, like the one Tryon testified
against in Oregon, requires all pregnancy centers to post in waiting rooms and
in all literature whether they offer or make referrals for abortions,
contraception, and prenatal care. The American Center for Law and Justice is
challenging the constitutionality of the law in federal court.
In January, a federal judge struck down a similar disclosure law
in Baltimore, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech and
“It puts onerous regulations on pregnancy centers,” Delahoyde
said. “It opens centers up to costly lawsuits—a right to action by aggrieved
persons. There are very harsh restrictions put up all over against pregnancy
centers, and we know their goal is to shut us down.”
But most of the bills targeting pregnancy centers fail to pass.
Two bills in Virginia—one that proposed to limit the revenue pregnancy centers
receive from license plates, the other to require disclosure that abortions are
not offered at the centers—were withdrawn in March. A resolution praising the
work of pregnancy centers was passed instead. Another disclosure bill in
Washington made it out of committee but failed in the House of
When pro-choice groups can’t get bills passed at the state level,
they look for local municipalities where they can get propositions passed,
Care Net prepares their centers for the legislation, she said. “We
send our public relations and legal people on the road. We provide a united
front at the state house, and that’s very effective.”
Alliance Defense Fund also provides legal help through hundreds of
attorneys connected to local pregnancy centers, she said.
“We train extensively,” Delahoyde said. “We are pressing forward.
Look, there are so many encouraging signs. The pro-choice brand is
Pendulum SwingsWhen Tryon gave birth to her second baby in December 1992, she was
part of a trend. U.S. teen pregnancy rates had swelled to their all-time
high—almost 12 percent of teenage girls—in 1990, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Abortion rates peaked at the same time, with 1.4 million abortions
performed in 1990, according to the CDC. Public support of abortion was also
high, with 56 percent of Americans labeling themselves pro-choice, according to
Gallup. Just 33 percent self-identified as pro-life.
Some 20 years after Tryon was a pregnant teenager, the pendulum is
swinging the other way. She is now an articulate leader at a pregnancy center,
wife of a worship pastor, and mother of three school-age children.
“As a teenager, finding myself in an unplanned pregnancy was scary
at best. Thankfully, I turned to a pregnancy resource center that provided not
only free and confidential services to me, but treated me in a fair and
professional manner, provided me life-giving options when I needed them most,
and eased my fears,” she testified before an Oregon Senate committee.
“My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever changed the
minute I called on them for help. After being educated about all of my options,
I chose an adoption plan that not only gave my baby a hope and a future, but it
also gave it to me.
“It is devastating to think that the vital services I received so
many years ago could be torn from those that so desperately need them today. I
urge you to vote ‘No’ on this bill.”
That bill in Oregon never came to a vote. But neither did another
bill calling for a ban on abortions after 19 weeks.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a journalist based in the Chicago
Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click
for reprint information.
State Laws That Lower Abortions | Examining legal measures
enacted to lower abortion rates. (April 4, 2011)
Live Action, Planned Parenthood, and a Year of Change|
Surveying two months of dramatic news on the abortion front in the U.S.
(February 24, 2011)
Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg | Ethical issues abound in case of
British Columbia couple who wanted surrogate mom to terminate pregnancy after
baby was found to have Down Syndrome. (October 15, 2010)
CT covers more political developments on the politics blog.
June 5: Week 11 The most critical part of Chris’ development is now complete. Now Chris enters into a period of rapid growth. Eyelids fuse closed and won’t reopen again until about 26 weeks. Eye color is already determined and Chris can squint and swallow. Chis is over an inch long and is moving quickly about the womb. Mother’s waistline is starting to disappear.
June 12: Week 12 Chris is almost 2 inches long now. Fingers and toes are separated. Chris could easily stand on Dad’s little finger nail. Chris’ feet are the size of the Precious Feet pins that have become the symbol of the pro-life movement. Finger nails and hair are starting to grow. The placenta is now proving nutrition from Mom. Chris likes pizza!
June 19:Week13 Chris now sleeps, awakens, and exercises the muscles energetically (we could take some lessons from him.) He turns his head, curls his toes, makes a fist, opens and closes his mouth while “breathing” the amniotic fluid to help develop his respiratory system. Chris is very active. However he is still a lightweight – weighing about one ounce – about as much as a letter. If the doctor uses a Fetal Doppler, it won’t be the weather that is seen, but Chris’ heartbeat which sounds like galloping horses.
June 26: Week 14 Chris now has teeth buds for all 20 teeth. Teething will come later. He is almost 3 inches long and weighs in at one ounce. Chris is still exercising and practicing his “breathing.” All Chris’ nourishment is now coming through the placenta. Vocal cords begin to form and although they may not be ready for a rock band, Chris will use them immediately following birth for that first cry! Now mom usually feels better and has more energy. She’s spreading the Good News.