Is a fetus alive?

Sara - Butte, Montana
Entered on March 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: birth, morality
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“If something can die then it had to once be alive.” There is a common question heard when discussing abortion, “is a fetus alive?” Some people say a human life begins at conception, others insist life begins at birth. Whether the fetus is alive or not determines the humanity of the abortion. It is illegal to kill a woman carrying a fetus, and it is considered and prosecuted as a double murder. Yet a woman can have a doctor kill the fetus inside of her if she chooses.

At the time of fertilization all the information about the child’s sex, hair color, eye color, and much more are already present. A baby’s heartbeat can be detected as early as eighteen days after conception. Brain waves have been detected about six weeks after conception. Dream patterns were also discovered around the eighth of ninth week. Independent movement such as kicking and stretching were detected medically about the sixth week. A baby in the womb is capable of responding to touch and sound by the eighth to tenth week of development. By the fourteenth week, a baby’s lungs are functioning, and vocal cords are formed by the thirteenth week.

There are religious beliefs pertaining to a child’s life and the thought of abortion is condemned and regarded as murder to most. People all over the world have their own views and opinions about abortion. Montana state law says “procedure utilized must not negligently or intentionally endanger the life of fetus unless to preserve mother’s life.” All states have different laws, but there is a problem with some laws on abortion. Does the law interfere with a woman’s rights to freedom?

The choice of abortion gives the one person power to choose the life of another. In my eyes killing a fetus through abortion is equivalent to killing a six month old baby. They both can not speak words to explain why they deserve to live, but they are living human beings who have the right to live. The laws are placed to control the act of abortion for those women who can not take responsibility for their actions.

Understandably there are situations where a woman may not have a choice in the intercourse. If a rape results in pregnancy, there are options besides abortion that should be considered. There are plenty of people in the world unable to reproduce who beg to adopt a child. I know it would be hard to carry a baby from a stranger or even a monster like a rapist, but that child still deserves a life. It is never really justified to kill a human being especially not an innocent baby.

Life is full of many choices, but all of us were considered a choice at some point in time to someone. Aren’t you glad they chose life for you? Every fetus is alive at the moment of conception, and every fetus deserves a life, this I believe!