Shawn Nauman,This letter is in response to your March 1, 1995 editorial regarding abortion. It must have been very tough at times, growing up with parents who were so young and unprepared for a child. I must commend your parents for doing such a wonderful job of raising a son who grew up to be so vocal with his opinions and thoughts. I realize with your mother being a teenager at the time of your conception, and with the timing of her pregnancy, with regards to the infamous Roe v.
Wade decision, that the issue of abortion is perhaps an issue that is very personal one. You make some heart-touching statements in your writing, such as, “she gave up her life so that she could give me mine,” and “I have the pleasure of knowing I am living because she loved me.” I must admit though, it caught me entirely off guard when I got to the point in your column that you revealed that you were indeed pro-choice.
You seem like the perfect candidate for someone who would be preaching pro-life. Mr. Nauman, I ask you, how does your conscience allow you to encourage pro-choice behavior when you know that abortion means murdering a human being? You may contend that a fetus does not fit the profile of a human being because the fetus is not a living human being before birth. Basic biological knowledge easily defeats this statement. Once sperm enters into the vagina, it travels through the cervix and into the Fallopian tubes. Conception usually takes place in the outer third of the Fallopian tube.
A single sperm penetrates the mother’s egg cell and the developing child gets half of its genetic information, in the form of DNA, from the mother, which resides inside in the egg, and half from the father, which is found in the sperm. The resulting single cell is called a zygote. The zygote spends the next few days traveling down the Fallopian tube and divides to form many attached cells.
A ball of cells is produced, each cell including a copy of the genes that will guide the development of the baby. Once about 32 cells have developed, biologists term the developing baby as a morula. With additional cell division, the morula becomes an outer shell of cells with an attached inner group of cells.
The developing baby now enters the “blastocyst” stage. The outer group of cells will become the membranes that nourish and protect the inner group of cells, which will become the embryo. The blastocyst reaches the uterus at roughly the fifth day, and implants into the uterine wall around the sixth day. At this point in the mother’s menstrual cycle, the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, has grown and becomes prepared to support a fetus. The blastocyst adheres tightly to the endometrium where it receives nourishment via the mother’s bloodstream. During the time between implantation and the eighth week, the cells of the newly developed embryo, not only multiply, but begin to take on specific functions, during a process called differentiation. Rapid growth now takes place and the main external features begin to take form.
During this critical period of differentiation the growing baby becomes extremely susceptible to damage from external sources such as teratogens. Teratogens are substances that cause birth defects such as alcohol and certain prescription and recreational drugs. Infection, radiation, and nutritional deficiencies may also be defined as teratogens also.From here on several different changes take place each week until birth. In week three the brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop. During weeks four and five tissue begins to form the vertebra and some various bones. The heart also begins to develop a beat at this time.
During week six the brain continues to develop and the lungs begin to form. The body’s arms and legs become noticeable during this time, along with hands and feet. By week seven all of the organs have at the very least begun development. A developing baby goes from the embryonic period to the fetal period by the end of the eighth week. From the above mentioned progress the little human has already made, it is plain and clear that the fetus is indeed a human and not just tissue floating inside a woman.
During these stages a woman can generally feel “kicking” inside of her belly from the developing baby. The beating heart also indicates the presence of a small human. If all of this is not evidence enough of murder I’m not sure what is.Mr. Nauman, you ask in your article, “How can decisions deciding the fate of a woman’s body be made for her?” Before asking a question such as this one, you should take into consideration that there are two lives involved, that of the baby and the mother. Why should a woman be given a choice on whether or not to give someone a chance to experience life, even if this someone is her very own flesh and blood? It’s beyond me why a woman would not want her own baby to experience life, no matter what the circumstances. In my opinion, no one should hold such a power, that they alone can determine whether or not to end a life, especially a life that is so young and innocent.
In my mind a similar situation would be that of a serial killer, taking the lives of innocent, unknowing human beings. Human beings who have no say in whether or not their lives will go on. Serial killers, who have the capacity to perform such acts, are prosecuted to the fullest extent, generally put to death or at the very least in prison for life. It makes no sense to me how you can argue for a so called “right” that would allow a woman to more or less practice the very same act of killing an innocent human being.
You go on to say, “Denying a woman the right to choose denies every female citizen her fundamental right. Democracy does not exist in a government that legislates the functions of our bodies – that denies all of us the right to control our own fate!” I must disagree with this statement. Does our democracy not dictate the bodies and the rights of convicted criminals by putting them in prison? Does this not ultimately control that person’s fate? Not only does putting a criminal in prison affect their own bodies, but it also affects whatever possible effect that the criminal may have on other innocent people’s bodies. It seems that according to this long-practiced criminal code that our nation has established, that indeed it is the right and responsibility of the government to make sure that we control our own bodies and actions responsibly.
The Declaration of Independence states that each person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This right should also apply to the unborn. Does this not seem like something that should be a fundamental right? I have to contradict what you say in your writing Mr. Nauman, I have to say that Democracy does not exist in a government that declares that it is O.K. for a woman to decide if she wants to kill her own baby.
A power of that nature truly denies any unborn child the right to control their own fate. It just seems that every right that you are arguing for in favor of a woman, you should be arguing for for any unborn child, any unborn child who has a mother who contemplates abortion even in the slightest bit.I am very happy for you, Mr. Nauman, that your mother made the choice to choose life for you. I’m happy that she made the choice so that you could write your article and express your views on the issue of abortion, albeit that I disagree with them. But I ask you this, how can you deny someone else, namely an unborn child, the chance to experience life and all of its freedoms and pleasures? How can you deny that child the chance to grow up and express his or her views just like you have done? Every pregnancy can not be a planned one, and every expecting mother will not be prepared, or capable of caring for a child.
But there are several other alternatives, far less severe than abortion, namely adoption. There are numerous couples out there who cannot have children of their own who would love more than anything to adopt. A common misconception is that abortion is just a form of birth control. The basic definition given in Webster’s Dictionary refutes this notion; Birth control is defined as the control of the birth of children by the prevention of conception.
I conclude this letter with a request to you Mr. Nauman. I ask that you reconsider your view on abortion. I know that you appreciate the fact that your mother chose life for you, but why should there be a choice involved in whether or not to kill a child? Why should they not be allowed the opportunity to enjoy the same joys and freedoms of life that we experience everyday?Sincerely, Steven ThieleREFERENCEShttp://web.bvu.edu/organizations/tack/1996/03/01/nauman03_01_96.htmlhttp://www.abortionfacts.com/http://members.aol.com/abtrbng/http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic5.htm