When a Clump Is not a Clump

Autonomous Life in the Womb

Can we finally give the myth that an unborn baby is “just a clump of cells” a decent burial?

John Stonestreet

Yesterday Eric Metaxas told you about a manipulative article from The Atlantic that heaps scorn on the pro-life movement’s use of ultrasound technology to show pregnant women and others the humanity of the unborn child.

Just as a refresher, in the piece, author Moira Weigel shares such gems as this: “The technology has been used to create an ‘imaginary’ heartbeat and sped-up videos that falsely depict a response to stimulus.” Katie Couric thinks kids can feel gender in the womb, but an actual heartbeat is just a “stimulus?”

And here’s another utterly baseless claim from the article: “Ultrasound made it possible for the male doctor to evaluate the fetus without female interference.” Huh? What if the OB/GYN is a female?!

We shouldn’t be surprised by irrational attempts to undermine the cause for life. The case for life is stronger than ever. The abortion rate is down, and those who profit from abortion aren’t happy.

So they’re probably not going to be popping the corks off their champagne bottles when they read a fascinating new article in Public Discourse by Ana Maria Dumitru. It’s called “Science, Embryonic Autonomy, and the Question of When Life Begins.”

What is “embryonic autonomy,” you ask? According to a recent study, titled “Self-organization of the human embryo in the absence of maternal tissues,” human embryos from the earliest stages of life can direct their own development—in or out of the womb.  Why is this important? Here’s how Dumitru, who is a fifth-year M.D./Ph.D. candidate at Dartmouth, explains it:

“As scientists, my colleagues must concede that embryos are made up of living cells, but they don’t accept the embryo as a living organism. If the early embryo is ‘just a clump of cells,’ then you can justify abortion. By this logic, it’s not an autonomous being, and it’s definitely not a human person yet. It’s just a few cells growing in the mother’s body, and so the mother can choose to get rid of those cells if she wants to.”

The problem for this view, Dumitru writes, is that so-called “clumps,” whether in a uterus or in a lab, don’t behave like clumps of cells. Instead, they appear to act independently, or autonomously, of any signals from the mother’s body, whether in or out of the womb. And “clumps” don’t do that.

As Dumitru explains, “This one little cell, with its complete genetic content, can and does begin to divide and to grow, even in an experimental dish in an incubator in the closet space of some unmarked lab. … That means, as we suspected, embryos know what they’re supposed to do to live, and they try to live, whether they’re in their mother or not.”

And it means not only that the embryo is a living being, but that it’s a person. This demolishes another argument for legal abortion, that the unborn may be living, but not yet persons—in other words, deserving of legal protection.

But the research Dumitru cites undercuts this contention by showing that embryo autonomy and personhood are “interchangeable terms,” because although the embryo’s capacities—which pro-choicers say are necessary for personhood—are not yet fully developed, they are clearly in fact already present. They require no signals from the mother to develop, only nourishment—which of course we all need.

Ultimately, all this comes down, again, to worldview. As Dumitru says, “It’s time to own up to the truth. Science has already affirmed what we have long since suspected: we can call them fertilized eggs, zygotes, blastocysts, products of conception, or fetuses, but that doesn’t change reality. And the reality is this: they are autonomous humans from the very beginning.”

Come to BreakPoint.org, I’ll link you to this article. Please read it, study it, and then go have some productive pro-life conversations with your friends and neighbors.


Further Reading and Information

When a Clump Is not a Clump: Autonomous Life in the Womb

Click here to read Ana Maria Dumitru’s article from Public Discourse, and as John suggested, initiate discussions in your spheres of influence. Start out by pointing to the amazing autonomy of human life from its very beginning.

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Gladys1071

    if they are autonous individuals, so they can be removed from the mother if she wishes, and they will continue to live on its own? If so then their should be no objection to early abortion

    • RubbLe1

      Are you being snarky or honest? If i read your question correctly you seem to be missing Mr. Stonestreet and Dumitru’s point. That the autonomy is not fully developed but ALREADY PRESENT. And even though dependent on the mother for nutrition, we are all dependent upon nutrition. The mother being the source of the nutrition does not give her god-like authority to end the life of this autonomous life. You are confusing, in logical fallacy, the difference between autonomy and the need for nourishment.

      • Gladys1071

        i am being honest and snarky. If the embryo is autonomous than it can live outside the body of the woman, so their should be no issue with removing it, if the woman does NOT continue being pregnant. This article fails to mention that the embryo/fetus is NOT really autonomous if it attached to the mother and requires the mother for sustenance.

        definition of AUTONOMOUS: existing or acting separately from other things or people

        The embyro/fetus is not really autonomous, it requires a host to gestate it, if you take it out it will die, so in reality it is not autonomous. It cannot breath outside the womb, it has not developed functioning organs to live outside the body and it attached via umbilical cord.

        So that article is misleading, a being that requires to be gestated and hosted by another is not autonomous.

        • RubbLe1

          Gladys1071, you appear to be sidestepping the issue that Dumitru’s research raises. She describes cells acting autonomously on their own to develop and differentiate, hence there is “as Dumitru writes, … so-called ‘clumps,’ whether in a uterus or in a lab, don’t behave like clumps of cells. Instead, they appear to act INDEPENDENTLY or AUTONOMOUSLY of any signals from the mother’s body, whether in or out of the womb. And ‘clumps’ don’t do that.” Now that’s inconvenient for the abortion rights community, that those cells are indeed acting autonomously. And while reliant on the mother for nourishment, so are newborn children and toddlers, and heck some teenagers for that matter, not to mention various handicapped persons. Are they not worthy of life? Consider that there is pause in your argument, open your heart and mind, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the argument for abortion may be dangerously false. Unmasking the ideology, abortion rights advocates wish to claim for themselves power that does not belong to them- that they somehow create the life inside of them, and that they have the authority to take it away. These are both false assumptions.

          • Gladys1071

            The problem is that the embryo has to have a host to live, and be gestated by another person, so it infringes on the right of another person’s bodily autonomy. Teenagers and toddlers are autonomous, they do not require gestation inside someones body, BIG difference. This is not an issue of convenience, it is that i believe a woman’s right to her bodily autonomy trumps an embryo’s right to life when it is NOT viable outside the body.

            You say that abortion advocates wish to claim power that does not belong to them. The power does INDEED belong to the woman, it is her body that has to do the gestating, her body that has to go thru the hardship, trauma, possible complications of pregnancy. A woman does not just become a walking incubator, just because she becomes pregnant.

          • RubbLe1

            Nope, you’re going against natural law in saying you can kill. Again your decision came at your choice to copulate. And no, you’re being inconsistent in your application of what is autonomous life. As is the implication of the research, there is a quantitative, NOT a qualitative difference between the developing child in the womb and one out of it. Your resistance to this truth is due to your rebellion against the Creator who made you a woman. “He is God there is no other, He is LORD there is no one like Him” Please surrender your misguided attempts at deity for forgiveness and peace found in Jesus. He said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

          • Gladys1071

            This has nothing to do with my religious faith, this has to do with bodily autonomy. So you believe a woman should be FORCED against her will to gestate a pregnancy kicking and screaming am i right, would you do that to a love one?

            I don’t apologize for believing that a woman still has rights even after she becomes pregnant and that i VALUE her life over the embryo/fetus that cannot live outside the body. Stop spouting religious things to me, as far as i know Jesus did not FORCE anyone to follow him and he ate with sinners and tax collectors, not self-righteous moralizers. Jesus showed compassion to the woman caught in adultery, i am sure YOU would throw the stones.

            A woman’s body is her own whether you like it or not, she has the final say on what happens inside her, since she is the one that is going to be affected by pregnancy, she is the one that has to endure 9 months of gestation and all the possible medical complications, that is oppressive and is akin to slavery.

          • RubbLe1

            Gladys, I’m not trying to force anyone to do anything. But when you take the route you’re taking- and you are free to take it – but there are consequences. This is what I’m trying to warn you regarding. Look if you say that a developing child has no value or less value than you, then you are saying one of two things. Either you are a god/goddess having authority over life and death; alternatively you are saying the child has no value> At which point neither do you or I or any of us. And we both know that’s not true. The problem is that we as a culture worship pleasure and sex as the highest value, not sacrifice and love. Pregnancy is inherently risky. And entering into a sexual union is a serious matter. It is an adult decision which upon entering it we are willing to accept the risk of pregnancy should it occur. I’m saying this from a natural law position, not a religious position, although the two do agree almost completely on this position. I value everyone’s lives. Its just that we don’t get to decide AFTER coitus that we get a re-do. I have compassion on both the woman and the child. You’re straw-manning me unfairly to bolster your position. And using the Bible out of context. I totally believe in grace and forgiveness even for abortion. My wife is pregnant right now. she is very uncomfortable at 38 weeks. And i do everything i can to make her life more comfortable. But when we entered sexual union we both value life more than comfort. You bring up “women’s “role”. You are confusing “role” with “natural order”. You keep using the terms “kicking and screaming”. Look you are going against nature itself. And against Nature’s God. You are a woman, period. And like it or not, woman’s bodies are definitely gifted with the amazing ability to carry offspring. You seem very angry about this. Its not me with whom you are angry.

          • Gladys1071

            No i don’t agree that everytime i have sex i agree to pregnancy . I am married, don’t have any children, and don’t plan on either. If i got pregnant by accident, i would exercise my right to terminate.. My husband is in agreement, he does not believe in forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will. He VALUES ME more than a 5 week embryo the size of an appleseed (that has no feeling, is not sentient). Unless of course you are going to tell me to stay celibate and only have sex if i agree to be pregnant? (you say that to married couples that don’t want to have children)

            Yes i do believe in a do over even after becoming pregnant, I don’t believe in being permanently fused by a consequence when their are alternatives in this case abortion is alternative to continueing a pregnancy.

            I don’t care about the going against nature argument, we go against nature when we hop on a plane and defy the laws of gravity, we are going against nature when we take antibiotics to kill bacteria that are found nature. WE are going against nature when we hook up people to breathing machines and such.

          • RubbLe1

            I feel sorry for your children. When and if you decide to have them, they’ll have parents who are quite selfish, actually. I value BOTH my wife and my children. And historically this was true until about 45 minutes ago. And actually no we don’t go against nature when we jump out of an airplane. We use physics. And in killing bacteria we are proving that we are indeed different than all other creatures, just as i’m trying to gently point you too in natural law, we are different and your refusal to see this about your children is devaluing you. You can’t have it both ways. If you choose to believe you can kill your offspring, then you are saying that you, yourself, have no real, intrinsic value. You are blindly insisting that Nietzsche’s will to power will allow you to retain your value as a person while going against all that is moral and loving in the universe. I’m done, I’ve tried to gently and consistently point out that you indeed have tremendous value, and that your choice to kill does not negate that value, but rather leaves you with a moral flaw (as I also have moral flaws but plead the mercy of Jesus for them). May you find mercy to do the same.

          • Gladys1071

            i do not plan on having any children, but thank you for the sentiment. I would not want to bring children into this sinful world, would not want to inflict that on them.

            You just don’t understand that their is no such thing as equal value, example the president’s life has more value than mine, why is that? value is subjective and we all have our own heirarchy of values. Why does the President get around the clock armed guards and you and i don’t? his life is considered more valuable, yet nobody complains about that. My husband valuing me more than an embryo is a reasonable response to having to choose between one or the other if need be, nothing evil or strange about that. Yes the truth of the matter is you cannot force other people to value you, I cannot force other people to value me.

          • RubbLe1

            We have different roles and these roles are of more value, as you indicated the POTUS has a more important role, but in terms of ontological value we are the same, him, you, I, the pre-born child, the the person in a coma. We are all the same in terms of our unique, individual value. Your husband may value you more, but that does not mean the pre-born, developing child does not have equal value to you. It means someone is choosing your value over another. The human heart does not assign value. Our value is assigned to us independently of any humans connection to us. Think of it this way, is an orphan who is not known by anyone else, who lives a very lonely life, have any less value than you or I just because they are not valued by someone else? And hence no individual has the right to terminate the life of anyone just because they aren’t valued by any person.

          • Gladys1071

            Yes but their are degrees of value and hiearchy of values that is what i am trying to convey. In theory sure you can say that each of us have the same value, but in practice we don’t. What i care about is not lofty theories but how this affects us in everyday life. My issue is how we prioritize who we value in our every day lives. Equal value cannot be practiced in every day life that is what i am saying, sometimes we have to choose one over another that is the reality of life.

          • Gladys1071

            Look i just don’t see abortion being this great tragedy, and choosing between a born autonomous person over an embryo is NOT evil, it is a reasonable response when it comes to choosing or valuing. If my sister was in distress and wanted an abortion i would support her, i would choose her well being her life FIRST, their is nothing wrong with me valuing my sister more than an embryo in her uterus.

          • HandsomeMrToad

            Well, when you have sex, you do agree to a SHORT pregnancy.

            Yes, by having sx, the woman issues a tacit, unwritten, implied invitation for her not-yet-conceived fetus-to-be to form inside her body and remain there, but only for as long as it takes for her to learn that she is pregnant and to get an abortion. Right-to-lifers do not approve of this limited invitation for the fetus to enjoy a SHORT life inside her body, but it is all the invitation which sx implies today in USA. If the fetus wants to remain longer, then it needs to get AN ADDITIONAL, EXTENDED invitation.

            OR, to put the same thing another way:

            Yes, by having sx, the woman issues a tacit, unwritten, implied invitation for her not-yet-conceived fetus-to-be to form inside her body and remain there, but the tacit, unwritten, implied invitation contains a tacit, unwritten, implied escape-clause, which says: “Dear Mr/Ms. Not-Yet-Conceived Fetus-to-Be, be hereby advised that if you accept this tacit, unwritten, implied invitation to form in my body, then, by doing so, you will also be giving tacit, unwritten, implied permission for me to have your *ss aborted. This is one of the tacit, unwritten, implied terms of this tacit, unwritten, implied invitation; so take it or leave it on that basis.”

          • Gladys1071

            by the way yes you are trying to force your beliefs about life and God on others. People need to be free to make their own choices whether we like or agree with them or not, and abortion is one of those. I would never tell somoene to have an abortion, but nor would i try to stop them. I believe in live and let live, let each person decide for themselves.

            You are the one that wants to take that option from women by force of law and that does anger me. You are messing with my rights and my bodily autonomy and i take that very seriously. I just want to keep the option legal for ALL women

          • RubbLe1

            I’m not forcing you just trying to help you see the consequences of what your belief actually is. Also its quite ironic that you’re concerned about what you think folks like me may or may not be doing, when i reality what you’re doing to another tiny innocent human is taking away all of their choices. But i do want to thank you for the generally respectful conversation that we have had.

          • Gladys1071

            the embryo is not a full fledged person, it has no feeling, it is not even aware of its existence, it has no brain (at 5 weeks or so) nothing is being taken from it . If i would have been aborted at 5 weeks, i would not be aware or even care, i would not be here, their is NO HARM in not existing.
            An embryo cannot make any choices, a pregnant woman is aware, she is a THINKING, FEELING person with aspirations desires, fears, an embryo does NOT have a mind, it CANNOT Experience any of those things until it is born.

            Think about why we don’t have funerals for miscarriages, some even get flushed down the toilet in a heavy period? why because they are not considered persons. We do have funerals for newborns. I cannot equate an embryo to a newborn.

          • RubbLe1

            because interjecting ourselves in this place is somewhere humans do not have authority to do so. By time most women realize they are pregnant there are already brainwaves. And backing up, remember the original point of the article, that from the moment of conception those cells even thought they exist in her environment. are acting independently of the mother, developing without her direction. And again, certain handicapped people also cannot do many of the things you are assuming are necessary to possess to be a person. Can we just terminate them as well?

          • Gladys1071

            Handicapped people are NOT remotely the same as an embryo that requires gestation and a host INSIDE another person’s body. try again?

            If it is in my body i can most certainly interject, if it requires MY uterus to gestate, it requires my PERMISSION. women are not incubators, we are thinking, feeling people with rights.

          • Gladys1071

            by the way their are no brainwaves at 5-6 weeks, no brain no brain waves until 2nd trimester and on, so you are incorrect. I know the stages of fetal development. Most abortions occur at 5-6 weeks, embryo has no brain no internal organs, no lungs, it is not autonomous that article is slanted to the pro-life position.

          • Ann Morgan

            Gladys, the forced birthers stretch the meaning of the term ‘brainwaves’ to mean ‘electrical activity in the brain cells’

            This is another one of their deliberate uses of words with the wrong connotations, which they are hoping to use to make people with a lack of extensive education gasp in awe of the embryo.

            ALL living cells produce electrical activity. I could hook up a brainwave (EEG) machine to my heart or lungs or muscles and I would detect ‘electrical activity’. Are my heart and muscles thinking? I don’t think so.

            In most people (and the fetus, after 22-25 weeks), electrical activity in the brain is ORGANIZED, and is the result (or the producer of) thought, awareness, memory, and sensation.

            In the fetus prior to this point, what exists in the cells of the brain is UN-organized electrical activity.

            To understand the difference between organized and un-organized electrical activity, consider your TV. Every TV show you watch, even the stupidest one you could think of, say, Teletubbies, or even something more stupid, say a show of dancing triangles with loud hums, is an example of ORGANIZED electrical activity.

            The static you get on non-broadcasting channels is an example of UN-organized electrical activity. It consists of TV waves produced by our sun (and to a lesser extent, some of the nearest stars).

            If we were to detect ORGANIZED tv waves from another planet, even an abysmally stupid show such as the dancing triangles, there would be screaming headlines the next day that ALIENS EXIST!!

            The UNorganized electrical activity from other stars is of interest only to astronomers.

            The fetal fantasizers gasping about ‘brainwaves’ in the fetus and their conflation or organized and unorganized electrical activity and pretense that the early fetus is therefore thinking goo-goo-ga-ga thoughts and feels pain and fear is like trying to pretend that the electrical activity caused by the fusion in stars means there are aliens thinking inside the stars.

            They are either idiots, or lying in the hope that other people are idiots, or both.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Re: “brain waves”: No, dear. fetuses don’t develop EEG waves until around 26 weeks, and thalamocortex connections and crenulations on the surface of the brain until 29-30 weeks.

          • Gladys1071

            So by saying that by having sex one agrees to pregnancy, do you agree that if you eat candy you agree to a cavity? and do you just let the cavity fester or do you go to the dentist? is that also against natural law?

            Pregnancy is one consequence of sex, their is also STD’s do you think we should let those just fester and grow? or do you believe in mitigating consequences?

          • RubbLe1

            Pregnancy is the point of sex. I mean really right? We have lost that reality in our culture. I agree that eating candy is a risk of cavities, but filling a cavity is not the same as taking the life of a developing child. They just are not anywhere near equal in the decisions. Again our ability to destroy bacteria, in this case STD, shows how different humans are from ALL other creatures.

          • Gladys1071

            So how come people can have sex while being infertile or after menopause? if sex was just for procreating why did God not make us go into heat like animals and make us ONLY to be able to have sex when we are fertile.

          • RubbLe1

            Good question. The primary purpose of sex is for pro-creation, but that is not the only purpose. Just as legs are made for walking but for some their legs don’t work. It is also the act that makes two people one flesh. In Hebrew that is EcHaD BaSaR. It is also the glue that creates the bond behind husband and wife. We are made in the image of God, male and female. But only God can create life by himself. We, on the other hand, need the other. This is probably one of the reasons there is so much strife between sexes, as we remind each other on a deeply subconscious level that we are not God, that we cannot do as we please. SO in the marriage bond expressed in sex (the hebrew euphenism to describe sex is yadah or “to know”, as in “Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to a son”) is the fullest potential of human kind being the image of God, that we get to create life through the expression of love in marriage. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cling to this wife and the two will be one flesh.” Sex for life, or sex for death those are the choices we have. One is beautiful, the other is painful and broken.

          • Gladys1071

            oh so you are saying that married couples that don’t have children and have sex is considered sex for death? you are making a broad judgement on people and situations that you don’t know. You are making sex out to me a lot more than it really is and saying things like “sex for life or sex for death” . I agree that sex should not be entered casually, but it is not some holy thing either.

          • Gladys1071

            Let me ask you point blank, do you believe a woman loses her rights to her body, her uterus once the egg is fertilized by the sperm? is she now just an incubator to you even against her wishes?

          • Gladys1071

            I find interesting that its always men that are the most vehement pro-life, i have yet to debate a woman. I find that very convenient that men who are not subject to pregnancy are the biggest in opposition to abortion, something that they themselves will not be subject too. Men are not forced to gestate for 9 months and carry the equivalent of a watermelon and incur morning sickness, possible bed rest, kidney failure, hypertension. Yet men want to tell women what to do with their bodies.

            It is the equivalent of women being for the draft, when they themselves will not be drafted. how convenient to force burdens on other that YOU yourself will not have to endure.

          • RubbLe1

            Men are supposed to be warriors and protectors, not jerks who just want to have sex with a women without concern for any consequences. . I know plenty of pro-life women. Lots of them. In fact most men tend to just keep their mouths shut so they can keep the gratifications stream flowing towards them.

          • Gladys1071

            I agree and men should not be jerks and try to force women to stay pregnant against their will. Men that are not jerks would respect a woman’s bodily autonomy and respect a woman’s right to choose.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Sweetie, just because a woman possesses a uterus, does not mean she is obligated to fill it to suit your personal dogma. How absolutely ridiculous.

          • Gladys1071

            So this is about a woman’s role to you? you just think that all women should be glad and open to pregnancy, and that we have no say over our bodies, good thing abortion is legal to keep you self-righteous moralizers from controlling us. I am a person not just a walking uterus, it is my uterus in my body and i have say what grows in there PERIOD!

          • Sharon Diehl

            It’s all about sex with you bible humpers, controlling a woman’s social behavior, her sexuality, her fertility. One wishes you would get a life of your own.

            Sweetie, there are other religious tomes in the world besides the buybull, er, I mean bible. There is the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao-te-ching, the Talmud, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Dasam Granth, the Tripiṭaka, the Book of Mormon, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Take your pick.

            You’re the type that if you were born in the middle-east, you would be an extremist muslim, shrieking death to all christians.

          • Gladys1071

            Have you considered that maybe your argument to force women to gestate against their will maybe false, maybe oppressive?

            After all it is the pro-life side that wants to take the right for a woman to terminate a pregnancy, so the onus is on you to tell us why we should take that option away from women? Those of us on the pro-choice side believe women are BEST to make those decisions FOR THEMSELVES, whether it be abortion, childbirth, adoption.

          • RubbLe1

            The decision for all of us creatures is at the point of copulation. After that we have given the power to the One who makes us all. Again, that is God’s power and authority only. It is not the right of any person to decide to take a life once it starts.

          • Gladys1071

            Really, do you apply that to all life? say like in war, executing criminals, unplugging comatose patients from machines? euthanizing our pets? , calling 911 when their is a medical emergency, aren’t we making life and death decisions most everyday when we do those things above? Aren’t we interfering with life when we save lives and take some lives . We play god all the time so your argument is moot.

            So again answer my question, do you believe a woman should be forced to gestate against her will, be a host INSIDE her body, even if she absolutely hates it? do you want to take that option away from all women?

          • RubbLe1

            Good questions, Gladys. Executing criminals, if they have taken human life, have forfeited their own, because in taking life they have laid claim to that which belongs to the Creator only, the authority to take life. He vested this power to government to execute those who take human life. Pets, pets are not special creatures like humans are. If you believe we are equal with animals, this is a sad existence. Unplugging comatose patients, that again falls into authority that does not belong to us. Many times comatose patients waken years later, and tell stories that they were recalling conversations others were having in their presence.

            To answer your question, you must first answer mine question. Is a person conceived and living already in the uterus have intrinsic value? Please answer carefully.

          • Gladys1071

            Not more value than the woman. Her rights supersede that is my position. I believe the value of the embryo/fetus is less than an already born person.

          • RubbLe1

            The developing child is fully human. Any value judgment made that lessens the value of that child lessens your value at the same time. Because it is fully human.

          • Gladys1071

            the truth of the matter none of us value all life equally, we all have lives we value more than others, value is quite subjective really. Value is assigned by people and society

          • RubbLe1

            If this is true, then we really have no value at all. You need to honestly think about the ramifications of this, if what you are saying is true.

          • Gladys1071

            no, is called heirarchy of values, everyone does that, like you value your children more than your pets. My husband values me MORE than an embryo/fetus. We all value different people differently it is true, i value my family more than a stranger, we do that all the time, value is subjective.

          • RubbLe1

            Who sets the heirarchy of values? Who is to say that your life is worth less than theirs and take your’s? I’m not saying this is so this is for the sake of argument, but if what you are saying is true in theory your life only has value so long as someone else says it does. Its a dangerous place to be.

          • Gladys1071

            it is true, you just don’t want to see it, value is subjective and it changes with society. Their is no such thing as equal value, you might want to believe their is, but it does not exist. Here is a thought experiment for you:

            You have a medicine that will save the life of your child and a criminal in prison, you only have enough for one dose, the person you CHOOSE to give it too is the person you value MORE. I will guess you will give it to your child, if so you made a value judgement.

            It is a what it is, this life is not all rainbows and flowers, it is quite ugly.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Re: “If you believe we are equal with animals, this is a sad existence.”: Why not ‘equal’ with other animals? Behavioral scientists have demonstrated “self-awareness” in many species, such as dolphins, gorillas, and elephants. I wonder if they worship a scary petulant “god” thingie in their realm of existence.

            A “person” is not conceived–it takes more than fertilization and a trip down the fallopian tubes to produce a “person”. Whereas, voila! The WOMAN is already a “person”!

            Honey, a comatose “person” does not reside inside of a woman’s uterus; they are perfectly safe from an abortion. What silliness.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Good grief, another magical thinking bible humper. It figures.

            My dear, what you fundaloon whackafascists fail to understand, is that the freedom of religion means freedom to practice your religion ON YOURSELF.

            NOT on other people.

            Your belief in an invisible middle-east megalomaniac deity (who supposedly drowned every pregnant woman and “innocent child” in the mythical Noah’s Flood) has nothing to do with a woman’s physical rights and medical privacy. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62b35a50bbf877d7218db5a9d0d1b62cf66e3a7267cabc6ee8e1810656994409.jpg

          • Sharon Diehl

            Sweetie, anyone can give food to newborn children, toddlers, etc. Free-living humans have nothing to do with the contents of a woman’s uterus.

            “The argument that a fertilized egg or embryo is somehow a prepackaged human destined to be born contradicts all that scientists have learned. Knowledge of human embryology is why biologists use words like “zygote,” “blastula,” “embryo” and “fetus”, not “baby.” Possibly the public’s attitude toward abortions would have been more mature and reasonable if students had learned some basic human embryology in school. But instead, in dozens of states students are only taught that “abortions murder babies” and legislators continue to pass laws based on medieval theologies and pseudoscience that in effect, treat women as obligatory breeding machines. Who is asking the question: when will women, themselves, achieve full personhood?”
            –Charles L. Rulon, Emeritus, Life & Health Sciences


          • Sharon Diehl

            Re: “cells acting autonomously on their own to develop and differentiate”: Well, DUH! What does this woman, Dumitru, who is supposedly a medical student, think that the genetic codes within DNA do!! Genes are molecular ‘instructions’ for cells to “develop and differentiate”. Sheez. This is basic biology.

            Re:”Unmasking the ideology, abortion rights advocates wish to claim for themselves power that does not belong to them’: This is highfalutin’ sounding nonsense. I am the goddess over my own body, dear. I make all medical decisions concerning my body in concert with a qualified doctor–not bible humpers who think they speak for invisible megalomaniac deities. . https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3b296d501171431feabc782280d0ba2045479c5bad0d610d1781536b31330ecf.jpg

          • RubbLe1

            Sharon Diehl- since a baby is a human being – an unavoidable fact- you need to carefully consider what jagged pill you are swallowing. If you say it is ok to kill another human being you are saying one of two things. First, you believe that mothers are god(esse)s and have the right to make all decisions pertaining to right and wrong for another human being. Oh that sounds so enticing, with fun little mantras like “my body is not a democracy. So i imagine you believe this first point. But consider, then, someone bigger and stronger than you has will eventually claim the authority to kill you as well. Like the Government. Your only other alternate justification for abortion would be to believe that the baby has no value. Well if that’s true than neither does the mother or any of us, because that baby is every bit the same as his or her mother and father. If this is true, then the pre-born child, nor you or I, would have any true value. All human value would be an illusion, able to be snuffed out again by anyone bigger and stronger than you or I, again like the Government. But DEEP inside, you KNOW this is not true and you REFUSE to accept that you do not have value, so you are in fact, an inherently selfish and rebellious creature (just like myself) willing to kill your offspring for a culture that worships SEX. Please consider what I am saying. This is There is no way around this. This is reality. Your viewpoint or my viewpoint is correct. If your’s is correct than ours is truly a cruel and hopeless existence. Logically, the only way that people can have authentic, intrinsic worth is if we acknowledge the reality that we are indeed, each and every one of us, made in the Image of God. Jesus is calling you (and I and all of us) in mercy and grace to turn from your (our) sin and find the life that is Life. Reject this to your peril. I implore you. Open your heart to see the light of truth.

        • hmcgaugh

          If we are going to be honest then as a women I am sick and tired of women trying to justify murdering their children so they don’t have to be inconvenienced or take responsibility for their behavior! If women are SO smart AND evolved then take yourself to the doctor and get on some birth control or stop by the drug store for some condoms. This justification for abortion is the most UNEDUCATED and SELFISH response to something SO easily prevented.

          • Gladys1071

            I agree with you that people should use birth control, but that does not negate the right to an abortion. Unless of course you don’t believe that a woman has a right to control the contents of her uterus? Women are people not just incubators.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Every method of birth control has a failure rate. Even abstinence. Just ask the Virgin Mary. Er…I mean former Virgin Mary.

            Honey, gelatinous non sentient embryos, of which upwards of 80% fail to implant and end up on women’s hygiene products, are not “children”.

            “The majority of embryos die within a few weeks of conception. This fact is widely known within medical circles, but is a surprise to many in the general public… the riskiest time is before the embryo has implanted in the uterine wall (which typically occurs between 8–10 days after conception (Wilcox et al. 1999). During this early stage, the proportion of surviving embryos drops off rapidly and only approximately 50% of them successfully implant…. A mother of three children could be expected to have also had approximately five spontaneous abortions. An embryo’s survival to term is the exception rather than the norm.

            It might seem surprising that these dramatic death rates for early embryos could remain unknown to the general public. However, the reason for this is that most embryo loss occurs before the pregnancy has been detected, and the woman is unaware that anything out of the ordinary has happened. The embryo simply passes out of the uterus with the next menses.”— Toby Ord, 2008, The Scourge: Moral Implications of Natural Embryo Loss: The American Journal of Bioethics, 8(7): 12–19.


          • hmcgaugh

            Abstinence does not have a failure rate. Our Mary had a visit from the Divine. I appreciate the facts that you provided BUT that is biology. The body performing it’s natural processes. It is not a women making a decision based on either poor planning, selfishness, or abuse. Planned Parenthood tries to convince women they can abort their clumps and donate the clumps for science study only to sell them. (Please don’t tell me they weren’t making a profit before they were caught.) Being the mother of 3 precious clumps of tissue, I can’t imagine a world without them. Also, many women in my life that have aborted their “clumps of tissues” are haunted by their choices. I have never know a single person that said they are so glad they had an abortion.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Re: “Please don’t tell me they weren’t making a profit before they were caught.”: I will tell any idiot that no, Planned Parenthood was not making a profit for donating fetal tissue to medical research. Attorney Generals from red- and blue-held states have found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood. In case you are unware, hospitals donate fetal tissue for pharmaceutical research, and IVF clinics donate unused embryos. Recouping costs for transportation and preservation of human tissue to tissue banks is LEGAL.

            Re: “caught”: Honey, you do know that medical research using fetal tissue is LEGAL and has been ongoing since the 1930’s?

            Re: :Our Mary had a visit from the Divine.”: Yeah, right, and I have beach front property to sell in Arizona. I’d be more impressed if your “Divine” had impregnated Joseph and made him give birth–now that would, indeed, be a “miracle”, not the typical story of a young teenager impregnated by an older male–which brings to mind another “god”, Zeus, who went around impregnating women. What is the difference between these mythological stories?

            Re: “I have never known a single person that said they are so glad they had an abortion.”: Well, it sounds like you run with the “Cult of the Talking Snake”, which is into sin, guilt, and irrational magical thinking. How far gone are you? Do you actually believe a woman was fashioned from the rib of a male?! Do you actually think that dinosaurs romped with Adam and Eve in Eden? Did Kangaroos swim all the way from Australia with Koalas on their backs to board the mythical Noah’s Ark?

            Here–you can ‘know’ a person, who is “glad they had an abortion”–I’m certainly glad for my abortion after I got pregnant when using the IUD, the Dalkon Shield, for birth control; an abortion saved me from pelvic inflammatory disease and the possibility of hemorrhaging to death. My husband and I could make a decision to have an abortion based on medical facts, not on the irrational demands of bible humpers, who view evanescent embryos as sacred objects and that it’s perfectly fine that women should die as martyrs giving birth.

            And of course, there are many others:

            “More than 95 percent of women surveyed in a new U.S. study said they didn’t regret having an abortion and felt that the procedure was the right decision for them.”–Overwhelming majority of U.S. women don’t regret abortion: study; by Maria Caspani

            “…a study published in PLOS-One last week has found that 95 percent of women surveyed felt their abortion was the right choice to make, even when reflecting back on the decision over three years later.”–medicaldaily

            Source: Rocca C, Kimport K, Roberts S, et al. “Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study.” PLOS-One. July 8, 2015.


            The predicted probability of reporting that abortion was the right decision was over 99% at all time points over three years. Women with more planned pregnancies and who had more difficulty deciding to terminate the pregnancy had lower odds of reporting the abortion was the right decision (aOR=0.71 [0.60, 0.85] and 0.46 [0.36, 0.64], respectively). Both negative and positive emotions declined over time, with no differences between women having procedures near gestational age limits versus first-trimester abortions. Higher perceived community abortion stigma and lower social support were associated with more negative emotions (b=0.45 [0.31, 0.58] and b=-0.61 [-0.93, -0.29], respectively).


            Women experienced decreasing emotional intensity over time, and the overwhelming majority of women felt that termination was the right decision for them over three years. Emotional support may be beneficial for women having abortions who report intended pregnancies or difficulty deciding.


          • hmcgaugh

            Wow, it seems like I really hit a sore spot. You seem really bitter. I can find you just as much research proving my point and present it more respectfully than you just did. It is not our right to choose who lives or dies. I am sorry you had to make a medical decision that resulted in your choice. A person very close to me had 2 abortions as a teenager and ended up with early cervical cancer and never got to have children. Your original argument regarding biology is sound if anything nature should decide who lives and dies. My mythical God teaches me Grace and Mercy and Redemption and I will not apologize that I will defend life while you fight for death.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Re: “sore spot”: Honey, ignoramuses who think their noses belong up women’s uteri, dictating the medical choices of women they don’t know, will never meet, and haven’t a clue as to their health or circumstances, annoy the heck out of me.

            Re:”research”: Oh yes, my dear, do tell me your “research” resources–lifelienews? Other religious shill sites like the Charlotte Lozier Institute?

            Re: “2 abortions” and “early cervical cancer”: ….and? Are you implying having two abortions caused her cervical cancer? There are women who have not had an abortion and suffer from cervical cancer. There are women who have had abortions and never suffer from cervical cancer.

            Re: “nature should decide who lives and dies”: Oh? So you’ve never taken antibiotics for infection? Never taken any medicine to cure any ailments? You just rely on “nature” to either fix you up, or kill you off? That’s up to you. Others of us ‘play god’ with our bodies day in and day out to keep ourselves healthy and functioning.

          • Sharon Diehl

            Do you actually believe a woman was fashioned from the rib of a male?! Do you actually think that dinosaurs romped with Adam and Eve in Eden? Did Kangaroos swim all the way from Australia with Koalas on their backs to board the mythical Noah’s Ark?

          • Gladys1071

            I don’t think anyone is glad about having an abortion, I have known people close to me that has had them, nobody goes happily to have them, but it is their right to have them. Women have a right to continue or refuse to continue their pregnancy, this is a medical decision, that truthfully is no one else’s business but hers/ her family and doctor.

      • And it means not only that the embryo is a living being, but that it’s a person. This demolishes another argument for legal abortion, that the unborn may be living, but not yet persons—in other words, deserving of legal protection.

    • Can we finally give the myth that an unborn baby is “just a clump of cells” a decent burial?

      • gladys1071

        actually no, everyone is a clump of cells, you and i are both clumps of cells walking around. We are made up of cells.

  • HandsomeMrToad

    It doesn’t matter WHAT fetuses are. What matters is WHERE they are.

  • Sharon Diehl

    Just what women don’t need…another catholicuckoo bible-humping medical person–Ana Maria Dumitru–who wishes to impose her personal religious beliefs onto all women. So tired of these people who think they speak for invisible mythical megalomaniac entities.

  • dc.sunsets

    Our society is a Death Cult, and every western nation is ruled by a Theocracy. Honest, casual observation shows this. My wife and I wanted children, and we strove to create them. Each time we “caught” (an implanted embryo) we celebrated; several times these “miscarried” and we experienced loss, grief, sadness and fear. We eventually succeeded in having three kids. Those kids want children, and go through exactly the same process. I always told my sons that I’d pay Big $ to prevent a girl from aborting my grandchild, so don’t “dally” with lunatics. The “free offer” of “fun” may be the costliest mistake of your life.

    Those who celebrate the ability to carry on casual hedonism ruin themselves. It never dawns on these fools what is the REAL reason so many women are now on antidepressants. They’re so immersed in the Theocratic Cult that they cannot see how its sacraments lead them to lifelong misery. I’d pity them, but my disgust stands in the way.

    • Gina Dalfonzo

      How fortunate we all are that that wasn’t Christ’s attitude toward us.

      • dc.sunsets

        Good thing I’m not running for Messiah this week. Since you felt compelled to call out my lack of piety in “public,” I’m left with the impression you needed to amplify your profession of faith in order to gain some external validation?

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          No, dc. sunsets. I simply thought it would be a good idea if someone on a Christian site offered a reminder that Christianity is not all about feeling disgust toward sinners. I would not presume to judge your piety or lack thereof.

          • dc.sunsets

            I aver that you’re right, my comment is probably not parallel with this website’s theology. I then suggest that we’re well past tolerance and well into enabling, if not open promotion, of sin and folly. Our society is collapsing quite visibly due to misconstruing Christian teaching on openness and tolerance. If my withdrawal of pathological tolerance looks un-Christian, well…not much I can do about that. There’s an entire thesis on why letting women, whose most basic nature is to defend their innocent infants, to spread that natural urge to all sorts of political mischief (infant stand-ins) is a large part of the looming crisis.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Certainly there is, but as blatant misogyny is a violation of our policy, I would recommend you not advocate that theory here.

          • dc.sunsets

            (facepalm.) If misogeny is defined as noticing that men and women are different (something of which I’m profoundly glad), and that our brains dictate different action sets for us, then this is yet another forum bent on denying the evidence of our eyes. There’s simply no bridging these gaps anymore, is there? No dialog is possible when certain observations are deemed heresy, and thought-policing (or burning heretics) has never proven to stop ideas whose time has come. Your blog, your rules. (Ciao.)

  • dc.sunsets

    This article misses the point; no “scientific proof” will change the minds of those who see abortion-on-demand as a human right, because they steep in a swamp of anti-life messages. We’re surrounded by a cult belief in narcissism, of Peter-Pan People who never grow up and always live in the Perpetual Now. A period of (perceived) unlimited resources produced a society of self-absorbed crybabies who casually sacrifice spiritual wealth (which includes devotion to family) in favor of external validation (pursuit of material wealth to generate envy and loud virtue-signaling to generate “you-go-gurl” feelz.)

    It’s hardly a shock that ours is a society saturated with material comforts and toys, but paradoxically drowning in unhappy people.

  • That is absolutely brilliant! Ana Maria Dumitru is correct. God bless her and may her insight spread across the land. Pray, pray, pray!