The Miracle of Fetal Development

Brian Clowes
April 16, 2021
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

There are two ways to define the time period that marks various milestones in fetal development: gestational and fertilization age.

These terms can be somewhat confusing since they are based upon different starting points. Fertilization age is a framework of time based upon the point of view of the unborn child. The gestational (or menstrual) age timeline begins two weeks earlier at the mother’s last menstrual period and is figured from her point of view. The framework most often used in discussions about the development of the unborn child is gestational age.

Thus, fertilization takes place at two weeks of gestational age and implantation about one week later. At fertilization, genetic instructions from the mother and the father combine to form a zygote, barely visible to the human eye.1 This single cell contains more information than fifty sets of the physical 33-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica .

Fetal Development and the Pro-Life Cause

We should all be familiar with our own prenatal histories, not just because it is so fascinating, but because we might save an unborn child ourselves one day with this timeline of fetal development.

The greatest pro-life visual tools are not photos of aborted late‑term pre-born babies, although these are indeed very powerful images. The most powerful persuaders are the full-color, beautiful, clear ultrasounds of pre-born babies peacefully floating in their mother’s wombs.

The pro-abortionists clearly know this. When pro-lifers put up posters or billboards depicting living unborn children in a public place, abortion advocates often loudly object and even vandalize the displays. Also, in those rare instances when abortion advocates debate pro-lifers, they try their best to censor such images of ultrasounds. For example, third-trimester abortionist Warren Hern has written, “We respond to all requests from schools for educational presentations concerning abortion. If the sponsors want both sides presented, however, the presentations must be made on different occasions. We insist that visual aid materials not be presented by either side.”4

Regarding ultrasonography, pro-abortionist Sarah Ackley said , “The anti-abortion movement can, with little effort, marshal such images as evidence of fetal personhood. With no comparably powerful set of imagery at its disposal thus far, the abortion-rights movement will likely remain on the defensive with respect to questions of fetal personhood.”

Preborn children can be the pro-life movement’s most eloquent messengers ― but only if we are their voice.