By Bertrum J. Meisner Jr.—What is life? Have you ever really thought about what life really is? Merriam-Webster’s first definition is “the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body”. Oxford Dictionary’s first definition is “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death”. According to each of their first definitions it is a quality or condition that has a distinct difference from dead or inorganic objects. Life has a capacity for growing, ability to participate in a function, the ability to continually change and the ability to reproduce.
Man has always defined things according how he wants them to be. He changes words and definitions all the time to suit his agenda. Words are tools to be used for communication and enlightenment. The word “life” is very important in man’s communications and enlightenment because it broadens our knowledge everytime it’s usage is broadened.
Man has been changing his definition of life for centuries because man has gradually been enlightening himself. The definition of life is different depending on the point of view you are looking at life. Most scientists will see life through different glasses than from lawyers and most preachers will see life different than most atheist. Even lawyers will disagree amongst themselves what is life, but the definition that I want to explore is the definition of “human life”.
This begs the question, who is a human? Since each and every human is different because everyone’s DNA is different, then it can be said that the formation of each human occurs, when the DNA is joined. The unique entity of every human being is created by the creation of its DNA. Our DNA defines each and every one of us. Once the DNA is combined this new human being is separate and different from all other humans. When does this combination of DNA happen? There is only one time this happens and that is at the fertilization of a human egg with a human sperm.
No one in the halls of justice can agree on the definition of the beginning of a human life but they are quick to define the end of human life. They have adapted the medical definition of death as “the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing.” It stands to reason that if this is the definition of death then the opposite of these human conditions must be life. If a human has vital functions it must be alive.
Everyone in the medical field will tell you that when the brain stops working the person is medically dead. That is when the “proverbial plug” on a human can be pulled legally and medically. Therefore in medical terms, if a person has a functioning brain then the person is alive and that stands to reason if a fetus has a functioning brain then it is alive and is a functional human. A human brain starts forming at three weeks after fertilization and within six weeks the brain is formed and functional. So by the legal and medical definition of the end of human life you should be able to say that the human life starts at least somewhere around four to six weeks after fertilization.
If the legal and medical definitions of death agree, why is it the legal and the medical definitions of the beginning of life don’t agree? They don’t because it doesn’t fit man’s personal needs. The death definitions fit just fine together because there is no legal agenda to create a conflict. The beginning of life is different because the new human is dependent on another human to survive. Just because a fetus is dependent on the mother to survive that doesn’t make it less alive. If it does then where is the cut off for that requirement? Humans are dependent on a mother for the entire time they are in the womb, so is are they dead this entire time? Humans are dependent on other humans for at least the first ten years of their lives, so are they dead this entire time? Humans that still have brain activity but are in an otherwise vegetated state are dependent on other humans to survive, but they are considered alive so why wouldn’t they be considered dead also? You can see that dependency cannot and does not define life but it can cause death.
You may ask why then is it the legal system is so different in its definitions of life and death? Shouldn’t life be the exact opposite of death? The reason can be summed up in one word, control. Mankind as a whole wants to control its own destiny. The death definition gives that control but a life definition takes that control away from the mother and everyone else. If life starts at fertilization when the unique DNA is formed then it cannot be stopped or aborted at any stage. Even if man accepted the medical definition of the end of life as the basis for the definition of the beginning of life, it still would virtually remove all control over the pregnancy. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant till after the four to six weeks. That would mean by the time it is diiscovered it’s too late to do anything to stop it because the fetus already has a brain.
If you look at what constitutes life, then the old argument “that it is the mother’s body and she has a right to do whatever she wishes to her own body” doesn’t hold water. Just because the fetus is inside of her that doesn’t make it any less of a human or any less alive. If it is a living human then it is murder to stop its life at any stage in its development, even if it is living off the mother’s body.
Man can play with his definitions all he wants and it won’t change the fact, that there is a life form, a human life form growing inside all those pregnant women out there. It won’t change the fact that when you stop that human from developing you are KILLING it and that is murder. Abortion is murder no matter how you paint it or apply “your” definitions to what you are doing.
I have often wondered what all those women who had an abortion, would say if you asked them, “Do you ever think of that fetus you aborted?” I would bet you the majority would say yes and I would also bet you, that a lot of them would also say, it has troubled them ever since. It can’t be an easy decision to take another life and it’s not. That is why the abortion mills put so much time and money into teaching their employees to counsel the pregnant mothers. A pregnant woman or girl never comes to the decision easily, they nearly always take time to convince themselves it is the “right” thing to do for “themselves” before they abort the child. They never make the decision based on what is the right thing for the fetus because killing someone is never good for that person.
That is the entire problem with our system, it’s not about what is best for someone else instead it is just about what is best for me. There is an old saying that fits here and should be applied more often in these cases “You made your bed and now you have to lie in it.” You got pregnant now accept the consequences of your actions and LIVE with it. —BJMJr
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