Human from the moment of conception

The Biology of Prenatal Development
The Biology of Prenatal Development DVD

How many times have you heard it: a fetus is not a baby, a fetus is not a human? I’ve just ordered a DVD, Biology of Prenatal Development and I plan to watch it and then to show it to everybody I know who has ever said this to me. The Biology of Prenatal Development was produced by The Endowment for Human Development, Improving Lifelong Health One Pregnancy at a Time and National Geographic. Free study material on the EHD site “includes the program script, footnotes, bibliography, appendices, and index of terms. Read the script in 92 languages on the site” or as a PDF download in English, Spanish or French. Below are just a few lines from the script that have already caught my eye. Emphasis added in bold is mine.

From Chapter 2, Terminology:

Pregnancy in humans normally lasts approximately 38 weeks[4] as measured from the time of fertilization,[5] or conception,[6] until birth.

During the first 8 weeks following fertilization, the developing human is called an embryo,[7] which means “growing within.”[8] This time, called the embryonic period,[9] is characterized by the formation of most major body systems.[10]

From the completion of 8 weeks until the end of pregnancy, “the developing human is called a fetus,” which means “unborn offspring.” During this time, called the fetal period, the body grows larger and its systems begin to function.[11]

All embryonic and fetal ages in this program refer to the time since fertilization.[12].

The numbers in brackets refer to the footnotes given on the webpage and there are copious notes and quotes given. And, yes, all these stages of development since the time of fertilization refer to the stages of a human in development. A human. Not something that will become a human, but a human already who is not born, but who, if all goes well, will be born. A human who is human already because if he or she was anything else but human, he or she never would be human. Human from beginning to end. Human. H U M A N. It is the height of absurdity to suggest anything else. And science proved this a long time ago. That some who claim to have studied science do not know this or care to admit it is sad.

I haven’t seen this yet, though it came out in 2006. But I am going to watch a video clip from it in just a few minutes. After I watch it, and also after I write tonight’s quota for NaNoWriMo, I’ll write some more about the video.

Learn more about the Biology of Prenatal Development. Buy a copy at EHD. Get the free study materials.

Just found this resource page on the EHD website: What kinds of educators (in participating states) are eligible to receive a free DVD?

* Anatomy & Physiology
* At Risk
* Biology/AP Biology
* Child Care Occupations
* Curriculum Development
* Dropout Prevention
* Early Child Development
* Family & Consumer Science
* Gifted and Talented
* Head Start/Early Head Start
* Health
* Health Science
* Health Occupations
* Life Science
* Parenting
* Physical Education
* Professional Development
* School Nurse
* Sex Education
* Social Worker
* Substance Abuse

Related department heads & district-level administrators are also eligible. See this page for more.

9 thoughts on “Human from the moment of conception

  1. Pingback: Ready to March for Life, more reviews in the works « Catholic Heart and Mind

  2. Pingback: Embryos breathe according to NatGeo’s Biology of Prenatal Development « Catholic Heart and Mind

    1. They aren’t always counted, as Betty said. It really depends on the court, on the State involved, etc. If the Supreme Court had not ruled back in the 70’s that rocks and trees could be considered as persons but that the preborn could not, who certainly have more claim to the status of personhood than rocks and trees, we would not have to have these conversations, or at least, not so often. I would hope. But the Court did not rule in a responsible sensible way (whatta surprise!), so here we are, having to repeat over and over to folks, all humans are humans and all humans are persons and abortion and euthanasia are murder and we should not murder other humans, other persons. Oy ve.


  3. I know. According to the pseudo-science of today, not all humans are persons and not all persons are human. So I would say that humanity and personhood both matter and that they should be synonymous. All humans are persons and all persons are humans. Of course, our legal system, our courts, have decided otherwise. That corporations can be considered human for purposes of lawsuits and such still redounds to the fact that corporations consist of humans bound to each other in a working relationship. (My words, I’m not quoting any legal decision here.)

    That the Supreme Court granted personhood to rocks and trees and mountains and rivers, also for the purpose of lawsuits and representation, is something that boggles my mind. The same Supreme Court that only a few months later denied personhood to preborn humans in the womb. Go figure that!

    (If anyone is interested, you can read up on this stuff by Googling Sierra Club v Morton, Roe V Wade and Doe V Bolton for more.)


  4. Don’t forget that most often it’s not necessarily that the fetus isn’t human, but they say it’s not a “person.” This distinction is important. Essentially, it is Personhood that matters, not humanity (go figure).


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