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The Right to Live

My baby is now 1½ weeks away from being considered “viable” by the medical community. Once she hits that magical 24-weeks mark, she has a 50% chance of longtime survival outside my womb. And if anything were to happen to the pregnancy after this mark, a hospital will try its best to keep her alive.

I can now feel her movements every day (and every night as she keeps me awake). She reacts to outside stimuli. She even performs extra flips and kicks when her daddy is around!

My baby has never felt more alive to me, and I know that the feeling will only increase as the days go by.

However, there has never been any doubt in my mind that my baby was NOT a living human being.

Yes, she began as only one cell. Yes, she did not develop a heartbeat until 5-6 weeks, and did not look remotely human until the end of the first trimester. I was not able to hear her heartbeat until 9 weeks, and did not feel her until 16.

But to me, my baby was a living human being from the time of conception.

What prompted this post that regurgitates my pro-life, “life begins at conception” stance?

There is currently a debate going on in a pregnancy board I visit — a topic titled “When should a baby have the right to live?”

While it was not meant to be an abortion debate, it was inevitable that the discussion would borrow from that topic. And while some pro-choicers definitely made valid points, I couldn’t help but be shaken by what others wrote.

“A person is not a person until they are born.”

“A fetus has the right to live when the woman carrying the fetus decides to give it the right to live.”

“Right to life exists between the first breath and the last.  There is no right to life either before or after.”

“Being hooked up to a ventilator is completely different than being hooked up to a human being’s organs.  A ventilator doesn’t have rights to be infringed on; a human being does.”

“Someone only has a right to life if I think so. If they are using my body, you are goddamn right about that.”

One poster even changed her signature to say something along the lines of, “Fetal Parasite #2 due 7/19/10”

Where do you stand on this issue?
When should a baby have the right to live?

I personally believe that once a woman becomes pregnant, she has the responsibility to make sacrifices because her body no longer belongs to her alone. Yes, they may be inconvenient but they — along with childbirth — are our burdens to bear as women.

If I had to choose between my baby’s life and my own, I would choose my child’s. And my answer would not change regardless of the baby’s gestational age.

However, if I were in a position where the pregnancy was putting my life in danger, I would pray about it, talk to J about it, and pray some more. I know what I would have to do — because Biblically, J and I are in a covenant of marriage and once we were wed, we became one. As such, I should put J before all others (except God), including our children, and J has told me that if put in this horrible situation, he would choose my life over our baby’s. So I would ask for the baby to be delivered prematurely, and pray for a miracle.

But of course, these are only my beliefs based on my morals and religion.