Fetal Development

The case for life with “just the facts” of fetal development

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

As a journalism student, I was taught never assume. Yet, as a radio reporter, when covering the issue of abortion, I assumed that my listeners knew the basics about abortion.

The huge irony here is that I myself did not have a fundamental knowledge of abortion–in other words, what it did to an unborn child, and what it could do to a mother, in terms of emotional and psychological after-effects.

By that I mean that, for a long time, I did not know that abortion stops a beating heart. I had no clue that, at just 24 days after conception, the baby’s heart is beating.

I wonder right now, in newsrooms across America, how many reporters know that important fact about a preborn child’s development.

Nor did I know that, a mere 30 days after conception, a child has regular blood flow within his or her vascular system. I was clueless that, at 42 days after conception, the baby’s skeleton is complete. And I had no inkling that, 43 days following conception, a little boy or girl’s brain waves can be detected.

News stories do not include the amazing–I would say miraculous–course of fetal development. I suppose there are a number of reasons for this: it’s not considered news, it could be construed as favoring the pro-life side, or it represents too much biology for a news piece.

But the fact is, an unborn child’s development is great news to many, many people. If merely explaining the facts biases an article to the pro-life side, then the pro-abortion side lacks credibility. And news reporters routinely include gory details in their reports, so a little biology wouldn’t hurt. The truth is that, on mere science alone, the pro-life argument can and should prevail. We have the facts on our side, and it is up to us to share that vitally important information with everyone–including the news media.

We owe it to preborn children and their mothers to do nothing less.

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