Paramecium, flagellates and amoeba are counted as life forces, even though they are one-celled organisms. I find this quite fascinating and paradoxical in nature, considering that many will not argue that they are alive, but argue that embryos are not really alive, or something to that effect. Oh really? The new body not only exists, it also functions. The brain in configuration is already like the adult brain and sends out impulses that coordinate the function of the other organs. The brainwaves have been noted at 43 days. The heart beats sturdily.
The stomach produces digestive juices. The liver manufactures blood cells and the kidneys begin to function by extracting uric acid from the child’s blood. The muscles of the arms and body can already be set in motion. The primitive skeletal system has completely developed by the end of six weeks. This marks the end of the child’s embryonic period. From this point, the child will be called a fetus. Straus, et al. have shown that the ECG on a 23 mm embryo (7. 5 weeks) presents the existence of a functionally complete cardiac system….
All the classic elements of the adult ECG were seen…. Even at 5 1/2 weeks the fetal heartbeat is essentially similar to that of an adult in general configuration. In its seventh week, it bears the familiar external features and all the internal organs of the adult, even though it is less than an inch long and weighs only 1/30th of an ounce (Schwarz). This incidentally, is the time period when many abortions take place. Despite much evidence that an embryo or fetus is a living being, many think abortion is ok because it is not against the law.
That something is allowed by law, or even mandated by it, does not settle the moral question. Intentionally killing an innocent person, at whatever age, and in whatever location is morally an act of murder. No law can alter that fact (Schwarz). However, in this same country that has so many liberties; many men have taken the liberty of being absentee parents. In many cases, this becomes the choice of the father. He abandons the woman after a relationship that goes awry and leaves her to raise the child on her own or sometimes as soon as he finds out she is pregnant.
In most cases, many advise that she put the baby up for adoption. The agencies are already overflowing with unwanted children who often end up with destitution and despair. Besides many women do not wish to carry a baby to term and get their bodies all stretched out of shape just to give the baby away. Also, with such a growing belly, she is sure to receive unwanted advice from family and friends and possibly even boyfriend on why she should keep the baby and raise it herself. With over half of all marriages ending in divorce, that outcome is more realistic than not.
It is of little wonder that many women take the option and make the choice of abortion. In many countries, such as China, where abortion is not legal or affordable to many, some women resort to self-performed abortions and end up doing more harm than good. In our own country some states restrict low income women access to abortion services. Such regulations will only increase poverty and perpetuates and maintains this socioeconomic base. They have no help and thus, are unwilling participants in a society that already looks down on them.
One out of three women will have an abortion by age 45. With so many women making this choice, it does not seem viable to remove it as an option. Many doctors now prescribe such contraception as the morning after pill just in case one time, a woman forgets to take contraception. But what about the Hippocratic Oath? Although it was written ages ago and despite many societal changes, many still hold physicians to the same standards of Hippocrates. Here are some of the things we presently now about physicians and oaths:
1. In 1993, 98% of schools administered some form of the Oath. 2. In 1928, only 26% of schools administered some form of the Oath. 3. Only 1 school used the original Hippocratic Oath. 4. 68 schools used versions of the original Hippocratic Oath. 5. 100% of current Oaths pledge a commitment to patients. 6. Only 43% vow to be accountable for their actions. 7. 14% include a prohibition against euthanasia. 8. Only 11% invoke a deity. 9. 8% prohibit abortion. 10. Only 3% prohibit sexual contact with patients.