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Discussion 5 to Reflections on Ethics 8
It is not the same

by Margarita Carrión

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Cheyenne :

I necessarily have to disagree with you on this one. I won’t argue that a fertilized egg is potential life, but it will never be the same to perform an abortion, say, at 4 weeks, as to kill a full term baby.

You correctly say that the heart starts beating at 4 weeks, and that’s also the approximate time when the nervous system develops, at least in a rudimentary way. There is no brain, consequently, there is no pain, no suffering. A full term baby will experience the exact same emotions and feelings anyone would in case of attack or pain. And I believe that makes a huge difference.

Once I saw a woman having a miscarriage, and the fetus was delivered, it was 16 weeks old. It was a perfect human being, except the skin was very thin and I could see the veins under it. It could not breathe because the lungs had not developed enough, and I could even see the heart beats in its chest. It didn’t make a sound, but I could see it was suffering until it died, some five minutes later.

I can’t imagine how this could be compared to a dying embryo that doesn’t have the “tool” needed to suffer: its brain.

Margarita Carrión