Is Abortion Okay? When is a Fetus considered Alive? (via 9gag)

So I was browsing 9gag for fun and then I came across this post. A very very interesting post that it gathered almost 2000 comments. Just by the number of differing opinions (both bad and good in my opinion because no one can really tell which is bad and which isn't), I have to say that I still have faith in humanity.

As to why I'm posting this? Too many good arguments here. I don't want to just lose this beautiful exchange of opinions be lost in a comment section of a funny website. Okay, I'm just very fascinated with the exchange and I love reading this particular threaded comment and when I'd want to reread it, I want it sorted out. It's a very VERY lengthy post as I try to collect all the comments as much as possible. It helps to have own better perspective with many people's varying degree of views about when human life begins.

The choice is hard enough as it is. Let's not make it any tougher. -UJUSTINK

I have my own stand regarding this issue. But before I get to tell you mine, let's see what 9gaggers have to say. So, let's focus on this particular threaded comment (actually, you can see what my stance is based on my reactions across the post; but if you want to just skip and see what my stand is regarding this issue, then click here):

We're seriously discussing whether it's a good decision to abort a bunch of cells with the brain activity of a rock. Really?


From hereon, reactions in red are this person's reply.

Besides, a bunch of cells die every time a woman menstruates, or a man faps successfully, or skin cells change and all that. Cells that were very much alive. Should we make these things illegal?

Yes, this is basically my reaction
So, let's see how people reacted:

Then what is your opinion on mentally retarded or mentally vegetable people? They don't have much brain activity.

— _statix_

But they're human. I don't consider a bundle of cells to be a human life.

So why do YOU think it's not considered human life? Personally, from biology class, I believe the basics of a living thing must/have to have some number of cells.

— _statix_

Mentally disabled people still have a brain which doesn't work as great but still works in most cases just good enough to make them human. Vegetables are vegetables. They're a human meatsuits and the only reason to keep them alive is for the people which once loved them. And if those people really loved them they'd have the common decency to let them go.

— seth474
I agree with you, I wouldn't like to be alive vegetable. I know a lot of examples in families when people just let 'vegetables' be for themselves, but 'vegetables' do nothing, they do not understand what is happening, they just defecate, eat and sleep; and it won't get better.
— mrslove
Yet those mentally disabled people don't really live full lives. Given that they are "happy" but the people who "love " them live even more challenging scenarios and end up being stressed. All for half a human.
— rosssm91

The harsh truth is that they wouldn't have survived a few hundred years ago. If they're pretty much brain dead then they're a burden on society.

— nathanlawton

Look up what brain death is. People with no brain activity are considered dead and nobody keeps them alive even if relatives want it.

— munchma_quchi

Vegetables = kill them Retards = they still have a lot of brain activity

— xxsovietbearxx

You just proved his point even more, as horrible as it may sound, they are rocks now. They were a person once, a human being, but unfortunately due to some accident they are now dead (Yes, brain death is fatal, and not because the body is kept alive by machines, they are alive.) As for retarded people, you are wrong since even if they are slow, they do have brain activity.

— RescuedMuffin15

This is where you're 100% wrong. A fetus has ZERO brain activity in early stages, and at least NO consciousness. A mentally retarded person has brain activity and consciousness. It's nice that you think about this case, but it's simply not valid. It's a kind of straw man.

— lastcaress
Stop saying wrong facts, a fetus does have brain activity.
— kbraauditore
No a fetus doesn't have necessarily brain activity since a fetus doesn't even necessarily have a working brain. If you want to embarrass yourself, go on.
— lastcaress
It doesn't need a brain for brain activity, it has brain cells, actually that is one of the first things to form, and they are in use, they are needed for the fetus development, that is brain activity.
— kbraauditore
No, it's not. In an early stage the brain is nothing more than a bunch of cells with merely no connections. You could then also say dead people have brain activity since there are electrons traveling through it. That's not brain activity, that's activity in brain. Same for a fetus. As said, in an early stage the fetus isn't able to have any kind of thought or any activity by the brain.
— lastcaress
Do you happen to know how long that stage lasts? Because i think you don't know how early on there is neural activity. neural activity is present before the first month ends.
— ilikeweirdstuff
Neural activity =/= consciousness. No, I do not know how long exactly the stages last because it depends on the individual. It differs a few days up two ~ a week. Still, you are not very clever if you equal neural activity with the brain activity of mentally handicapped people.
— lastcaress

My opinion would be kinda different, since its hard to determine the actual level of "braindead" in most case, and also chances of recover... so I will explain for you: Life is collection of experiences. Impregnated embryo, fetus and even babies have 0 life experience! But, you got to draw a line somewhere. I don't have any experiences, memories or even cognitive understanding of my life at that point, so you might as well say I didn't even existed (its more a thing for philosophy). As soon as I start developing memory and at least some level of cognitive processing, I have life experience and therefore I count it as beginning of my life... so regarding your question: if I am in vegetable state with significantly reduced cognitive ability, count me as already dead... Its not me, its a remaining of me, like a dead body. Speaking from my (now) fully cognitive existence, I would like to be euthanized if that point ever happens.

— devion

Mentally handicapped people have as much brain activity as 4-12-year-olds. Your argument is flawed. Also, vegetative people aren't people, their brains aren't there. I totally agree with families trying to have the plugs pulled on these cases. They aren't there, no different than that chicken that lived without a head for months.

— janaoo4

haha cognitively atypical people have just as much brain function as the next person. It's just expressed differently.

— iamwerve

I can't talk about the mentally retarded. But I always though that the mentally vegetable were kept alive just because the family didn't have the courage of letting them go. One thing is to have hope, and the other is to chain a human being to needless suffering for your own fear of death. We are all going to die, whether we like it or not. We could as well die painlessly and with some dignity.

— jsm1409

You are well aware when two germ cells of the opposite sex collide, you get a whole different set of cells which now bear life. But i see you don't understand that there is more than one type of cells, so this is pointless. Sex cells, i.e. sperm and egg.

— muchracist2

And does it really matter what kind of cells they are? The cells that make up an abortable fetus are about as mentally active as a skin cell. Late answer, I know, but I feel like it needs to be said.

Yes it does matter, because you can't grow another human being naturally from your skin cells.

— muchracist2

True. Can't see how that effects my stance on abortion though. Please elaborate?

Zygotes/blastocyst/fetuses aren't a bunch of brain cells with no brain activity; ergo, you can't treat them as such.

— muchracist2

Those cells are gametes, meaning they only have half the set of chromosomes, whereas when the two gametes of the opposite sex fuse, they form an entirely different set of chromosomes unique to that being. they are in the process of developing a functioning nervous system, whereas as sperm and eggs don't.

— nobsplease

In the process, yes. I myself am in the process of baking bread. Have I made a complete set of bread buns yet? I have not. The bread is nothing to speak of yet.

But whatever you are doing will guarantee that a bread is going to be the final product. Not a pizza, a burger, or a 5-star meal. Fetuses are guaranteed to come out human. Would it not be unfair to prevent that from happening? Just like if I came up to you and smacked the dough onto the floor?

— nobsplease

I do respect life, but I don't respect ("agree with" is probably a better word for it) your "it's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all" view of this. The fetus doesn't know what it's missing. To me, a pregnancy being eliminated doesn't effect anyone else but the could-have-been parents. Besides, there is a high risk of a child being unhappy in life if it was supposed to be aborted. After all, there was a reason to abort it.

Adoption is always a better option. the fetus doesn't know what it's missing because the fetus wasn't given the chance to live! he/she alone should decide whether it is worthwhile to keep living or not. and i think that you're dramatically reducing the effect the baby's life would have had. why not say that infanticide of months old babies only affects the parents, and shouldn't be the business of others?

— nobsplease

Tell us more about your supreme understanding of intelligent life and how insignificant it is.

— ubermk3

Bunch of cells without brain activity =/= intelligent life. You happy?

We protect snails and lizards... why not a human? That's what it is.

— randomk9

Or is it? I mean, fetuses are technically alive, but they're just a bundle of cells without brain activity. Not even born yet! Very different from those (I assume developed enough) animals.

When does it count/is considered a human then?

— _statix_

Taking it to the absurd are we?... which is fine by the way... that can be useful sometimes. The answer is of course not. No more than if the woman's life is in danger I wouldn't presume to have a problem with an abortion. My point is this. Those cells, for lack of a better term, are destined to be a human being. If that human is born and commits murder, I am all for returning the favor. But... a fetus has done no wrong... why not have a shot at life?

— randomk9

Now, if the birth would kill the mother, then it is ethically right for the mother to consider an abortion. But if the baby won't be loved, then it's not the baby's fault, but the fault of human beings. He/she is no less of a human being. The best option, if not the only, would be to give the baby up for adoption. We have to look for solutions that benefit all parties involved, including the fetus.

— nobsplease

With that mindset, you give the fetus (only a potential being[!]) higher rights, then to the women. Im talking about the first 3 months (ofc), where there's no consciousness or self reflecting system formed. Its pretty obvious what the better solution is.

— bubbles82
I'm not giving the fetus higher rights than the fetus, I'm criticizing how society gives women absolute control over the fetus (which btw isn't an organ, but a separate being). And I think you and I shouldn't use the word 'potential' either, because it sounds like we're assuming that what comes out the vagina could be a chicken or freaking Godzilla or something.
— nobsplease
Potential is exactly the right term.
— bubbles82

Did you know, that a lot of human's traits are set at the time of conception? So the "bundle of cells without brain activity" that you talk about, has a gender, is blonde/brunette or whatever, has a particular eye color, although it doesn't have genitals, hair or eyes yet. So you're wrong, comparing it to any other type of cells. It is a very, very unique bundle of cells, so the dilemma is whether to consider it fully a human or not.

— nevermindillus

Yes, a fetus has DNA. I'd still be cool if it was aborted though, just like I'd be cool with a flower sprout, or a fish egg being killed.

But we're talking about human fetus with human DNA. If you just leave it be, it will develop into a person, not a flower.

— nevermindillus

Oh ok, I didn't get you there. So you say it's okay to harm somebody as long as they don't know that you're harming them and they are okay with it at that time?

— nevermindillus

I don't think an abortable fetus can be neither okay, nor not okay about it. Again, no brain activity.

And they don't. Just as well as every human being doesn't have to live past his first year and they don't. And so on. But abortion, that we're talking about is an action performed by man, not higher power.

— nevermindillus

They maybe unique, but they're not developed into a person. They are still cells.

— patter2070

I know, and I'm cool with it being conducted by man. Sorry, but why would I not be?

So it is OK to abort you then? I can't see any brain activity there.

— rktos

You were that once......


Some people consider it murder man. It's been a debate for decades and decades. So, yes, REALLY, we are debating it. Although I agree with your point of view personally, others don't.

— joloiscool

You are also just a bunch of cells. But if I were to kill you I would go to jail. So at what point does it become unacceptable to kill a mass of cells?

— or3om0nstr

I'd say at eighteen weeks.

I actually agree with you :)

— or3om0nstr

I just feel like everyone who consider abortion as murder are kind of dumb. It's not even born yet so how can it be murder? I read about a woman who got like 25 years in prison because of a miscarriage .The world is just insane. It should be the pregnant woman's decision, so I think you are absolutely right!

— ingenduvet

Hello?! Basically, miscarriage is unintentional. Abortion is intentionally terminating the life of a fetus (premeditated murder, perhaps?).

It's still a human life, not born human life but a human life whatsoever. It's not just a bunch of cells, is a unique bunch of cells, who are capable of creating life, not every bunch of cells can create life to just throw them out ass if it were garbage, what would you feel ?! And yes they feel, its been proven...

— kbraauditore

I still think its the pregnant woman's decision and not yours, so.. and I think its wrong to call it murder when its not even born yet. Maybe you think it is wrong and horrible but you have to accept other people's decisions. What if the woman doesn't have enough money to take care of the child when it's born. They may die because they don't have food and that kind of death is worse I think. All abortion is made because of a reason and you have to look at it from their perspective before you judge.

— ingenduvet

The thing is: It's not her choice. I refuse to allow her to choose. If she does anyway, she SHOULD be treated like a criminal.

— ilikeweirdstuff
Are you fucking serious? How could that be your decision to make? Maybe you should be treated like a criminal because of your ignorance, bullshit and stupidity?
— ingenduvet
Because it harms society as a whole. And I will not permit any selfish asshole to harm society for their own selfish reasons. Get a grip.
— ilikeweirdstuff
Well I don't know why I am arguing with you. You clearly need to take your head out off your ass and start thinking. Please tell me how it is selfish to do an abortion, I really want to know. You're the one who is selfish, because you are not willing to look at this from an other perspective than your own.
— ingenduvet
It is selfish because the women(or guy mates) in question in pretty much all the cases fulfill one or more of the following: a) have not done all they can for contraception because of laziness or "just wanting to have fun" b) had sex when they were in their fertile days c) want to save their figure d) want to save their free lifestyle e) don't want to deal with the hassle of pregnancy f) don't want to deal with a child and don't want to put it up for adoption either.
— ilikeweirdstuff

As long as the mother can sue the father for child support for a baby he did not wish to have because she wanted it, the woman has no right to abort the father. That's equality for you - If the baby has a right to the father's wallet, he certainly has a right to life. So the saying "my body, my choice" should only apply if "my wallet, my choice" is applied to the father.

— borisreporting

I just read the whole conversation and I have to say - Keep fighting the good fight, mate. Logic and reasoning must always triumph over illogical emotion! And to those who state that a bunch of cells without brain activity who are alive should not be aborted because it's unique creature with its own DNA, I'd just like to point out - So is a banana.

— borisreporting

Do you see a banana growing a heart?! A liver?! A brain?! Do you see a banana being born and becoming a lawyer?! I don't think you know what reason and logic means because you are really really stupid. Actually the banana can be considered as the reproductive system of a banana tree, do you consider the fetus as the reproductive system of a woman?! Really, you seem to try to win a "most stupid" award.

— kbraauditore

If you're going to attempt and insult my intelligence, at least have the common decency not to look like an illiterate moron when doing it. The argument I responded to was people implying that because a clump of cells has a unique DNA, it makes it a creature which should not be killed. My response is that a banana fits the description as well. And since when does having a brain or a liver a precursor to being granted the right to live? A baby was born without a brain a few years ago, does that mean I have the right to eat him like a banana? Starfish and jellyfish have no brain, does that mean an animal rights activist would allow me to kill them? Of course not. And having a liver is an even dumber example on your behalf. People pointed out you can kill a sperm because it's just part of you, but a fertilized egg should not be killed because it's a clump of cells with its own unique DNA. I pointed out that so is a banana.

— borisreporting

How is a fetus comparable to a banana? So we can also eat fetuses? Lel

— grumpycheese

Not that black and white. I think you're too insensitive.

— jonbirz

From the moment of conception the baby, no matter if it looks like a bunch of cells, its a human being.

— joacodd

I see your point, but I don't consider a sperm that just got into an egg to be a human being just yet. They're cells with human DNA to me.

Ok then, enlighten us, when that "bunch of cells" becomes a human? From your point of view, you are also a bunch of cells

— le_lemur

When it's too old to abort, so eighteen weeks.

Please tell me exactly when the fetus magically transforms from cells to human. What happens at eighteen weeks of pregnancy that make that bunch of cells human?

— le_lemur

So when does that 'bunch of cells' become human? What is the dead give away that it is a human? More importantly, at what exact fucking second does it magically turn into a human?

— ferfrancol

1. Calm down. 2. It's difficult to say something's human or not. I consider a fetus to be unabortable at eighteen weeks, until then it's a bundle of cells with human DNA to me. I hope that's relevant enough to answer your question.

Still, why eighteen weeks? When does it become human? Come on.

— ferfrancol

Eighteen weeks because that's when functions really start kicking in. And hmm, this is hard to explain. I can't explain it further than I did before.

The thing is, you leave those cells on their own and they'll eventually turn to life. They are morphing into something much more... fapping, leave them alone and they'll just be sperm.


Fapping is still removing a lot of cells chance of becoming a baby though. Abortion is the same thing, just with fewer cells.

But that fetus is already a product of both egg and sperm and is at the moment slowly growing and developing. Unlike semen and eggs, only few of them can meet each other and therefore die but the fetus is already both of them coming together. Leave skin cells alone and they don't turn into humans -___- think about it this way: Booting your PC up, needs electricity(sperm) and the PC (egg) itself. the fetus is the PC booting up. u wouldn't throw the PC away now that its becoming something.


Yes, I would though. Abortions happen for a reason, and if the situation is tough enough, I don't think "but the fetus is evolving :D" is a legitimate reason to not have an abortion.

That's a strawman fallacy, a fetus is not a concept as simple as a bunch of cells, if that was the criteria murder would be legal.


I get your point, but that particular bunch of cells is far from even being born. Unlike 100% of all murder victims.

May be far from being born but still a different stage of life. Also, doesn't look like you have seen an ultrasound of a fetus, it starts having human features very early, anyway, seems like you are okay with murder, like many others in our day, but if those cells would be your son that you want and you gf/wife got convinced it ruins her life and career you might feel slightly different.

— visbicentiu
Human features, yes. Brain activity, no. And I'm not okay with murder (unless the person really had it coming). But I don't consider abortion to be murder, unless it's a late one. But that's just me. Also, I can't answer what it'd be like to be a father since I'm not male (and I'm too straight to ever have a wife/gf). But if I was, I would of course respect my lade and her choice. Especially if having a kid would ruin her life. My stance on this is unchanged.
"Lade" is a word now, by the way.
If having a kid would ruin her life, why have unprotected sex or irresponsible sex in the first place?! Did you really not know you were getting pregnant if the guy came on you or had unprotected sex?!
— kbraauditore

I would prefer an unborn fetus than a child that comes to this world unwanted by his/her parents. Adoption isn't the right path either. There are kids who are about 6 years old and never got adopted. Psychologically that's the worst that could happen to a child since his/her first years are key to form a father & mother concept. I don't think it's a solution. As stated in the post, the ultimate ethical decision is the mother's. And it should be legal, we're not talking about obliging (is it the right word? I'm not a native speaker) mothers to abort. Legalization means that if the woman has come to the decision of having an abortion, she can have it safely done by a doctor. Here in Argentina we're having the same debate because a lot of woman who can't afford a private practice end up dead because they get treated by anybody in unhealthy conditions.

— pdv91

Actually the right answer would be to just have responsible sex or don't have sex at all.

— kbraauditore

It's going to be something more than that, though. What it is is overshadowed in respect to what it WILL become. Is it not alive? That's fine, but eventually it will become a he or a she. Preventing that from happening does not change the fact that it was going to happen...

— tln39094

And that's why one should always ask the fetus first if it wants to be aborted. Oh wait, it can't care. Besides, and I'm aware of how cruel this sounds, but every baby doesn't have to be born. According to me.

I'm honestly indifferent on the legality of abortion. I just don't agree with the absence of guilt surrounding it. These women are gonna do it, legal or not. But they don't simply assume moral authority and have that be the end of it. Functions of nature, not abnormal to it. Women have periods, men jack off. It happens and has been happening since our species evolved, and even before that from what we know about the animal kingdom. Genetic material is only half of the equation. Abortions are a product of human self-awareness and subject, therein, to ethical implications regarding their practice.

— tln39094

Also, a flower sprout or a fish egg can also evolve into something. Would you protest it if I eliminated one though?

It's not self-aware and has no potential to be so. Philosophically speaking, we can say that ethics only extend to humanity and our actions, either direct or indirect, towards humanity, not the plant nor the animal kingdom. That is unless it has an impact on ecological sustainability. You don't burn down the amazon because that has a negative impact on our species' survival outlook, not because of the poor trees and frogs.

— tln39094

What should be so shameful about having an abortion? I see nothing selfish about avoiding an unfortunate birth. Abortions happen for a reason, you know. Real, legitimate reasons. What I do see as selfish, however, is being against someone's choice over her own body and life. Being against abortions is being against that. Other things not made by nature, but by humanity's ability to invent stuff: Pacemakers. Penicillin. Controlled fire. Flu shots. Ovens. Star Wars. Tools. Wheels. Are they man-made? Yes. But just like abortions, they do good. What I'm saying is that the brain activity is the same, which is nada.

But it increases. Rocks don't. They don't evolve. There's no way for us to curb their evolution because that's non-existent. Our own evolutionary path has enabled us to defy certain laws of nature, though. In the biblical sense, we lost our 'innocence'. Not to preach, it's just an apt philosophical way to look at it. Anything that we do beyond those boundaries, therefore, is subject to moral judgment. Can't ignore it. They're subject to moral debate, just like abortions. We've circumvented natural selection, so one could say that we've polluted the gene pool. We've also created super-pathogens which could theoretically render us extinct by over medicating. Everything comes with a price. Sometimes that price is a little more abstract, such as morality. Sometimes it's more physical. Nothing we do is for free, though. And being for abortions is being against an organism's chance at existence. Moral quandary... Assuming no bias, who are these beings which have been denied said chance to exist? Rapists? Murderers? Some would be, certainly. Some would be scientists. One of them might have been your soul mate. Who can say? The prospect of "unfortunate" carries both ways. My father and my grandmother both navigated difficult circumstances in their upbringing to make something of themselves. Continuing that point, 'some are born to endless night, some are born to sweet delight'. But no one is stagnant in the conditions under their birth. Even if they become another ward of the state, they're still given the same opportunity to simply BE like the rest of us. Considerations of the moral implications surrounding such are not in vain. If we are to continue to perpetuate it, we must accept the prospect of it as an evil act. That's who we are by way of free will.

— tln39094

Talking about the morality of the subject, the ultimate moral and ethical decision is on the mother. It is her body, yet, we are telling her what to do with it? Would you like to be told what to do with your body and you should have no way to decide at all? She is a conscious living being, the fetus isn't. To me a living being needs to have a certain independence to be regarded as such (i.e: breathing on its own).

— pdv91

But.. what a baby can become depends heavily on circumstances of birth, upbringing, availability of basic necessities, education etc. Instead of just making babies and hoping that they will make something of themselves, we can 1) devote resources and attention to those who are already born 2) plan parenthood, so upcoming baby can have better living conditions.

— munchma_quchi
I'm all for morality, but babies come with a price too. Who will pay, for example, for single unemployed woman taking care of a baby she didn't want to have? Other people will. What if that woman also needed fetal surgery for a baby to survive? Now that's a moral choice, is there a better way to spend this money?
— munchma_quchi
Yes, true. We should NOT just go around making babies. That's on the person, though. We need better education just on principle.
— tln39094

This was an interesting comment because you talked about chance which I like: a developing person is MORE likely to do good things than bad things. The morality of humans is not a gauss distribution. So ending a potential for someone to develop is in all cases criminal.

— ilikeweirdstuff
It's certainly not without moral implication. But I'm for people regulating themselves... But, even if they're a bad person, is there no fault there? If we could prevent Hitler's existence, would that be the right thing to do? Morality is not simply a question of consequence and/or causality.
— tln39094
Morality is NOTHING BUT a consequence of logic and causality and if your morality does not adequately fit logic, it is flawed and thus not acceptable as a good morality for mankind. So if we could stop Hitler from being born it would bring up a whole different kind of question, because we don't know how Hitler's elimination would change the probabilities of the time after him. We could end up having a different worse hitler. Thank god time travel doesn't exist so morality is simpler.
— ilikeweirdstuff

But it changes the damage done. Are you seriously okay to harm the rights of women because of some "potential being". That's just insane.

— bubbles82
No I'm pointing to the possibility of a line existing as to what rights are there. There's a separate entity there. Remove a parasite, and that's one thing, but remove the makings of a human being? If we're going to do it, we need to at least be willing to accept the moral ramifications therein. It's not something that people take lightly as is, of course. I just don't care for the "it's my body" argument, because there's another body there. Your perspective is time based. Looking at time by focusing on one interval and then another, yes it's just a collection of cells without self-awareness. But pull back and look at the picture as a whole, see time as more instantaneous than that (which is more objective), and it's not a matter of 'what is', it becomes a matter of 'what will be'. So it's the justification of the act so as to keep the perception intact that we've done nothing out of the ordinary that's a sticking point with me.
— tln39094
Actually, it is no-brainer. _You_ either cut massive the human(!) rights of a living, breathing, thinking human or choose that something does not exist. If I wouldn't exist, I couldn't(!) care. Besides, this discussion is long over (more than 25y). Only in certain parts of the world, its still ongoing. I wonder why.
— bubbles82

Guys it doesn't matter if it's human or not, the thing is that the ones that oppose to the abortion are not the ones who would have to spend all the time and money on a baby, so yeah it's pretty much the woman's call. Fetus, human, whatever you wanna call it, if the mother can't/doesn't want to have him, well though shit, he's gotta go. It's like dead sentence (legal murder :D), only not for a crime but because it would screw things up for the mother to have him.

— speed_racist

It's a life and will be a human if you give it a couple of months.

— thewalrusguy

Indeed that's how it happens.

You're forgetting that the baby develops a lot while in the stomach; I agree that if it's so young that it is just a small cluster of cells, then yes it's okay, but not in third trimester because the baby is actually fairly developed.

— homer_is_scared

True. For the record, I consider the first trimester to be the only acceptable one to abort a fetus in.

It has a heartbeat within 14 days. That makes it more than a bunch of cells. So if you can abort it before 14 days your argument is valid. But otherwise its wrong.

— nlathen110

A heart is made of cells, so it's technically still a bunch of cells. But it's the brain activity, more precisely the thalamus functioning, I count. Until then, the fetus is a bundle of cells with human DNA to me.

You do realize once there is a heartbeat there is brain activity? Autonomic function requires brain activity.
— michaelhines

"with human DNA" so human DNA doesn't make it human? Does human DNA make it a monkey, a fish maybe even a donkey?

— nlathen110

As in I don't consider the fetus to be a proper human being yet. Technically human since two humans made it, but not a human being.

What makes it a proper human being?

— nlathen110

When the thalamus is in working order (which is technically in week 20, but let's play it safe), so I consider the fetus to be unabortable at week 18. That's also when I consider it to be a human being.

So what are you... Not a mass of cells?

— misterspock

I'm a mass of cells with a fully functional brain activity. Unlike abortable fetuses.

Than start with yourself, you are also a bunch of cells with small brain activity ;)

— _mannelig_

That is literally all humans are, a bunch of cells, I fail to see your point.

— tigersguide

You were a bunch of cells before. maybe your mom made the wrong decision.

— bryannaquin

The issue is more complex than that. When you want to lose a bunch of cells you take a morning after pill. When you want to lose a fetus you use abortion, and at some point (quite early) fetuses become developed enough to have brain activity.

— rutger5000

A bunch of cells. Hah! Whatever helps you sleep at night.

— qwertykeyssss

Hey kids! Let's win an argument with Science! A new living being is considered when its DNA is different than its parents' DNA. That "bunch of cells" have different DNA than the mother or the father, as it is a mix of both. Genetically and biologically speaking... It's a new life and you're killing it.

— ssacch7

That's what I tell my grandparents, but they still refuse to kill my retarded uncle. Idiots right?

— jakmar8

I see why are your believes like that. A bunch of cells at the time of abortions are bunch of cells, not yet a human, so you haven't killed a human, right? But I don't think you realize there is something beyond dry facts and cold calculation about being a human. You're not wrong, you're just an asshole.

— akahari

Idiot...they are human, menstruation and fapping only eliminates half DNA cells, but a fetus has the full 46 DNA molecules and that makes them human. Educate yourself before making and opinion in important subjects like this one.

— maxpax

Oh that so a fertilized egg = human? Well, 50%-60% of fertilized eggs end up being killed by the mother's body as it doesn't implant itself in time and then gets washed out by the period. So for each baby a woman has, she had on average killed 1-2 of her previously fertilized eggs. If a fertilized egg equals a human being already from the moment it's a fertilized egg as you say, shouldn't practically all women be charged with unintentional manslaughter?

— borisreporting
a) He defined the thing as a FULL MEMBER OF ITS SPECIES if it possessed those qualities. the examples you mentioned are a different species. If something is human then it must be preserved. and something is a member of a species (like human) if it fulfills his criteria. Reading comprehension. b) There's another thing: if the mother has a right to her own body: how about a Siamese twin where one twin has no heart and shares a heart with the other? Does the person with the heart have the right to kill its twin by separation? Of course not. So the "my body my choice" argument is invalid.
— ilikeweirdstuff

How many of you had an "accident" having sex? A condom breaking, for example. Did you or did you not use a morning-after pill? Did you step up and had a baby? There's a lot of hypocrisy. I know people who are against abortion all the way but have practiced it because they fucked up and didn't want a baby and it's their "dark little secret". And yes, if killing a fetus is "wrong", a pill to get rid of it (even at that early stage) is too, we should all have our children no matter what.

— pdv91

So I read this from webmd:

Plan B One-Step is not the same as RU-486, which is an abortion pill. It does not cause a miscarriage or abortion. In other words, it does not stop development of a fetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So it will not work if you are already pregnant when you take it.

In my standpoint, it is very much okay to take a Plan B One-Step pill (aka morning-after pill) as it only intervenes the sperm cell from reaching the egg cell and I'm not okay about taking RU-486 which would kill an already formed gamete. Yes, I believe that life starts at conception (when the sperm cell fuse with the egg cell).

There's the double standard. It's easy to have an opinion against it, but when it's YOU put under that situation I bet more than one of you used a pill, or had an abortion (or your significant other had it if you're a guy).

— pdv91
If you do have sex when the girl is in the fertile period, and do not use multiple contraceptives you are being absolutely reckless just so you can have your fun and are thus a fucking twat if you do not live up to your mistake. That being said the morning after pill is not that morally damnable, because strictly speaking the embryo doesn't even exist then. It only becomes a fetus capable of developing into a human being once it has a connection to the uterus wall.
— ilikeweirdstuff

You can complain, cry, and scream all you want. People is still going to do whatever they want. If they want to use a condom, they will, if they want to take the morning pill, they will, if they want to get an abortion, they will. You want to have your children no matter what? good for you, want a medal? a cookie, perhaps? You do whatever you want, everyone else are going to do just that, whether you like it or not.

— jsm1409
Well yeah but it still makes them despicable human beings who should be jailed. No matter how much we try there are still going to be people who kill others.... does that mean we will stop putting them in jail and decriminalize murder? of course not.
— ilikeweirdstuff
Putting who in jail for what? If a person decides to abort I'm no one to judge them, I don't know their lives or the reasons that rode them to that decision. Step down of your high pedestal and stop looking down on others. You don't agree with abortion? good, you'll have your baby no matter what? also good. Have a cookie.
— jsm1409

None of the cells you listed were humans. They could be human cells but not humans. From the moment of conception the fetus has all genetic information it will ever need and simply grows and doesn't stop growing till it dies as an adult. According to your logic I could kill anybody because after all they are just a bunch of cells that happen to come to get like a human.

— danielfontina

You speak of "a bunch of cells" but when it gets down to it, any living thing is. It is utterly disgusting that some women choose to do abortions even after as long as 20 weeks.. Do you also not consider a fetus to be a "human"? Is that still just "a bunch of cells"? Fact is, you normally don't get pregnant by accident, considering all the anti-conception available today, but by negligence. If you're too selfish or incapable of raising a child, at least consider to give it up.

— mt_tm

The problem is that some people also have the brain activity of a rock and everyone is just a bunch of cells. So legalize murder, but at the very least euthanasia, amirite?

— ilikeweirdstuff

And i guess Hitler was sort of right with action T4 by euthanizing people with brain damage?

— ilikeweirdstuff

Those "bunch of cells" would one day become a human, if it weren't for human intervention. By destroying those cells, you are still preventing someone from existing and thus you are trampling on one of the basic human rights: that future human's right to live. So please don't take this question so lightly my friend, abortion is a far more complicated issue than "killing a bunch of cells".

— jcvtsalgueiro

"Future" human. As long as it's still not a proper human being, I think it's outside UN's human rights. But that's just me.

Like you said, it's your point of view. I believe we can't be so subjective. He will never be a future human being because someone took that right from him. The relativization of moral values and the degradation on the value of life really scares me on this subject. People are actually saying it's okay to do an abortion and prevent someone from existing because you just can't take the responsibility of creating a baby, or because the guy left? SO WHAT? Doing the baby was okay, wasn't it? Everyone knows that sex carries a risk of pregnancy. That's why being ready for sex is more than just watching p*rnhub, it involves accepting that risk as well as the responsibility of your actions. it's what was once called "being an adult". I don't know when did this become an unacceptable thing in society, but i cannot protect or respect anyone who wishes to avoid their responsibilities at the cost of another one's life.

— jcvtsalgueiro

YOU have the brain activity of a rock. People that are against abortion think of what those cells will become, not what they are now.

— 2nd_amendment

In biology, an individual is considered born in the moment the two gametes (that aren't the same as a human, because they don't even have a full set of chromosomes); uterine development is just an extra feature that doesn't define the conditions of the zygote (sorry if there are grammatical errors, English isn't my native language) Also, if you are going to answer, please TRY to use other argument than "But I don think a bundle of cells with human DNA is a human being" -.-

— tigrerojo

You are a bunch of cells too. Would you mind to be excluded from society (a.k.a. murdered) just because you become inconvenient?

— Hassegawa

Well. Maybe it's just me who finds the thought of mother willingly murdering the child growing inside her womb using a fucking pitchfork to be disturbing. You go ahead and do that, I'll stay with my conservative bullshit.

— yoyookami

The question here is: What makes a human human. if you say it's brain activity: in cases where the patient is artificially rendered effectively braindead and later revived for some operations: Would it be acceptable if i went in and shot him? No it's still a human. So brain activity isn't the answer. I personally think that as soon as something has the potential to theoretically develop into a human if returned to its natural state/place IT IS A PERSON.

— ilikeweirdstuff

Well that's your opinion. An opinion based on non-factual, arbitrary definitions. Your example doesn't make sense. What operations are you talking about? When someone is rendered permanently into a vegetative state, no, they're not a person anymore. If the damage is permanent, then there is no going back. Putting someone under temporarily doesn't erase the fact that they are currently a human being. Your logic is grossly flawed. Furthermore, what are your stances on adoption? Are you going to adopt, have you already? How about welfare, or other social services? Do you look after foster kids? How do you stand on social assistance in other forms for state provided day cares? On tax breaks for single mothers? Child support? Alimony payments? It's always funny to me that so many pro-lifers are so concerned over the life of the "child" until the second it's born, then exactly 0 fucks are given about them.

— janaoo4

Doesn't matter the 'brain activity', once the cells is capable of reproducing themselves it is live. If scientists found out there are one type of cell in the outer space that can reproduce, it will be considered life! The fact that if you let the baby grow, it will have a life, choices to make, feelings, friends, enemies, be a good or bad person, for me is sufficient to reconsider if killing the baby is something that people shouldn't care. Maybe you mother wanted an abortion.

— hugamer

The point is that for most people it's like killing, because the mother decides for the child "not to live". But in my opinion that which grows inside the mother has no consciousness about what it is or what could be. So for me abortion is not like killing. It's the mothers decision, she has to live with it her whole life.

— miikay

I cannot question that most people commenting were educated. They all have background in biology. With all being said, it all boils down to the question, "When is a fetus alive or considered a human being?"

Scientists would say that life begins when the embryo is formed and therefore, this embryo has the right to live. But in some countries, a fetus is only legally a human being when it is out of the female body. The commenter I highlighted in this post considers that a fetus is only unabortable when it reaches week 18 (because that's when she believes that the brain function really kicks in) but most would say at the moment when a zygote is formed. In other articles, it's about the time when the fetus starts having a heartbeat and that's on the 6th week of pregnancy but will most likely be detectable by ultrasound on the 8th week. Therefore, when the heartbeat is concerned, a fetus can only be aborted likely before the 8th week of pregnancy.

Overall, the issue of abortion is all about human convenience. For the government, perhaps it could be a way of controlling the population. For the women (or irresponsible men), getting rid of unwanted babies for whatever reason. Again, in their own convenience.

Whatever the case above, it's about science and socioeconomics.

When I was a kid, I never dreamed of being with someone. At age 9, I have a conviction never to marry ever! And the image of pregnancy scares me. I am pro-life but reading the comments above somehow made me rethink my ideals. I'm just thinking (damn, I couldn't believe I'm going to write this!), there's one perfect case where getting pregnant is never a woman's choice. RAPE. What if the girl lives in a place where there is no morning-after pill? How is she supposed to keep a sperm cell (from a guy she most probably hates) from reaching her egg cell? How is she to be sure that none of her eggs will be fertilized? Personally, I don't like the idea of merging my genes to a guy I don't even like. Some girls might hate the guy they broke up with. But if ever they get pregnant from the guy they had a relationship with in the past, at least once upon a time, they loved each other (or at least adored each other). So in rape cases, if it is unavoidable for a girl to get pregnant, I'd like to say that perhaps abortion is an option.

But that's all about personal choice. And in a way, a selfish choice.

I didn't see someone REALLY addressing religion or any spiritual beliefs in the comments. Shall I be surprised?

So you've read what other people think based on biology. Now, read a TOTALLY different take.

I believe that I'm a spiritual being. And whatever defines me is not limited to my physical body. I have a soul. And I believe that it's what defines me as a person. It kind of helps with the imagery the fact that the eye cannot perceive itself in isolation (unless you look at yourself in the mirror if we're talking physical here). With this belief, I simply don't care however other people see me. Moreover, with this belief sprung a new question...

When is a spirit (or soul) assigned to a human body?

With the case of rape above, if a soul is assigned to a "body" at the moment of conception, then a woman has no right to terminate that soul's shot at life. I don't have good background in religion but I have to say... I believe that a human soul whose life was terminated before it even began will be trapped in this speculative limbo place for lost souls. This belief is in part of the Catholic faith. It's a fresh soul that never was. But the soul was already there, just with no memories. It will have to wait for the apocalypse to happen so it may rest with God's presence thereafter. But until then, it will have no identity.

If I were to believe in reincarnation, this soul might be "reassigned" to a different life.

But who am I to know what will happen then?

So the thing is, I am pro-life not because of science but simply because of my belief in the assignment of the soul to a body during conception.

With this (and the exception of rape), I have to say that women should be responsible. I've already quoted the comments that I think have the valid points in this Abortion Argument. I couldn't emphasize enough. If you don't want to get pregnant, then practice safe sex. If you can't, then don't engage in sex at all, you damn well know the consequence of taking in the pleasures of the flesh.

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