January 30, 2017

Human embryo at about week 10


A touchy subject, I used to be against it.  Then I supported it.  Then I stopped listening to everyone else’s opinions and listened to science.

We still know so little about the human brain… what we do know is that our brains make us human, your frontal cortex gives you a personality.  Without it, you’d have no understanding of your own self.

That being said, I support a couple’s right to choose to abort before the brain develops, this means aborting no later than week 5 (the beginning of the embryonic phase of development).  Up to this stage, the mass of cells has no more conscious awareness than your appendix.

During week 6-7 an embryo’s brain begins to divide into five different sections.  Forming what we understand as the structure of a human brain.  By week 10 the embryo becomes what is known as a fetus.

It is not scientifically agreed upon at what point a fetus becomes fully conscious of itself, the kind of consciousness that we have and consider personhood.

There are many things to consider on this subject, least of all not getting pregnant when you’re not ready, by using birth control medications or condoms.

I also think that both parents should have a legal right in determining whether a blastocyst or embryo should be aborted.  It may be a woman’s body, but what’s growing inside is genetically half created by the father.

Based on brain development, I do not recommend aborting after week 5, definitely not after week 7, because at this point the fetus likely has begun to be aware of itself and ending its life would be ending a human’s life.

To learn more about this topic and the statistics on American teens on the following subjects, check out my article “Abortion, Abstinence, Abuse, Birth Control, Teen Sex, and Unwanted Pregnancy.”

About Kephen

I am a Buddhist and writer living in the heartland of America. I grew up on a farm and spent a large amount of time outside and in the woods, a childhood I would not trade for anything. I've been writing since I was 14 years old after my English teacher encouraged me to never stop. I am inspired by the works of Thich Nhat Hanh, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Ralph Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Marcus Aurelius, Viktor Frankl, Carl Sagan, Jane Goodall, Kahlil Gibran, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the list goes on. I read and write about various topics including Buddhism, religion, nature, astronomy, depression and psychology, politics, as well as some fictional writing.
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