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EARLY HUMAN DEVELOPMENT


1. Foetus or Child?


"Foetus is simply the Latin word for young or offspring. It isa used medically to denote the unborn child from the eighth week of development, before which the term 'embryo' is used. It does not set the unborn apart from the rest of the unborn race: indeed the expression "human foetus" and "human preimplantation embryo" are used by researchers to set the unborn child apart from the offspring of laboratory animals.

In the UK, when doctor's began killing newborn handicapped children, quite markedly they referred to them as neonates and stoppped calling them babies. Today, advocates of euthanasia ( for which there is a powerful lobby in North America, Britain and in the European Parliament) and referring to elderly poeople as geriatrics or psychgeriatrics. It is a consistent tactic of the anti-life lobby to use categorisations in attempts to dehumanise those to be destroyed.


2.Fertilisation


When sperm fertlizes egg all the inher5ited characteristics of the new individual are established-hair-eye-skin colouring,, sex, build- different from anyone else ever conceived. The embryo is specifically human (it cannot develop into any other species) , and begins to organise itself at once, to interpret and execute the instructions in the DNA code it carries. It is complete, unique, human and alive.

"Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum froma female is fertilzed by a sperm from a male".The procedure of an invitro fertilization, where life begins in a laboratory dish shows that the embryo is never a "part of the mother's body as pro-abortionists claim. Even some of the experiments performed on embryos under 14 days old- attempting to establish their sex and helath- show that indiviuality exists from fertilisation.


3. The first two months


Meaasuring time from conception (fertilisation), embryonic growth is as follows:
Day 6-12: implantation into the womb occurs.
Day 24-28:the head is distinct, limb buds are visible; the early eyes, liver, brain , pancreas, lungs and kidneys are present and the heart is beating. The embryo is 4mm long (crown-rump length).
Day 32-34:ear development, nostrils and shaping of the limbs are apparent.
Day 44-46:fingers and toes are distinct, the external ears are well advanced in form and the eyelids have almost covered the eyes. The embryo is 25-27 mm long (crown-rump length).
By week 6:the skeleton, at first membranous, is formed into cartilage.
By week 7:the first movements can be seen on ultrasound.
By week 8:parts of the skull, the ribs, and the skeletal limb cartiliges are turning to bone.

At teh end of week 8 the embryonic period is complete and the foetal period begins.


4. The third month.


"NIne weeks after conception the baby is well enough formed for him to bend his fiingers round an object in his palm of his hand. In response to a touch on the sole of his foot he will curl his toes or bend his hips and knees to move away from the touching object".

"At 11 weeks after conception the foetus starts to swallow the surrounding amniotic fluid and pass it back into his urine. He can produce complex facial expressions and even smile".


At 12 weeks after conception he can close his fingers and thumb and will open his mouth in response to pressure being applied at the base of his thumb".


5. From four to six months.


". the inner ear of the foetus is completely developed by mid-prenancy and the foetus responds to a variety of sounds."

"The foetus needs to be heaviliy sedated by sedating the mother before intrauterine manipulations such as blood transfusions. Otherwise he will move away from the needle."


The unborn child also reacts to matrnal shock. Professor Peter Hepper, Director of the Foetul Behaviour centr5e at Queens University, Belfast, found that a 16 week unborn baby reacted when the mother5 accidentally fell on the floor when attending for a routine scan. The baby's increased activity was observed on ultrasound and considered to be a direct effect of maternal shock.

6. From Six to Nine Months


Professor Hepper has also observed that newborn babies whose mothers' wathched the soap opera Neighbourd during pregnancy stoppped crying and became alert when hearing the tune; infants of mothers who did not watch it showed no reaction. Hepper cites a study by Dcasper and Spense (19860 who found that newborns reacted to stories mothers had read to them during pregnancy. THis indicates that an unborn child can learn and remember sounds.

More recently Professor Hepper has developed a test to assess the mental ability of teh foetus while still in the womb. The tests can be applied to babies as early as 24 weeks, but may be applied earlier in pregnancy in the future, So far the tests have proved accurate predictors of intelligence.


On the physical level, the mother will have noticed her baby kicking in the womb from 17-20 weeks- although teh baby is known to be active well before this time but is too small for the mother to be able to feel. By 20 weeks- the baby is 185mm long (crown to rump); eyelids, eyebrows and fingernail are very well developed. The eyes are closed from week 9 or 10 until week 25 or 26 for protection. In late pregnancy the baby's skin is covered by a greasy substance (vernix) which protects it from prolonged contact with the amniotic fluid; he or she develops an insulating layer of fat benath the skin and acquires resistence to some infections.


7. Premature


If birth is early the baby given care, may survive. The Royal College of Obstetricians document Preterm Labour and its Consequences (1985) stated:

"In 1984, 72 percent of liveborn infants of 22 to 27 weeks gestation born at the Bristol Maternity Hospital survived, as did 64 percent of infants of 500 to 999 grammes birthweight."


These percentages had increased on those of previous years. The weeks of gestation on th eRCOG document refer to length of prenancy from the ,other's last period and not to the age of tht ebaby from fertilisation which would be two weeks less. The European Community study of outcome of pregnancy between 22 and 28 week gestation noted that more babies' were born alive at the earlier gestations in the United Kingdom and survival rates were higher than in the other countries surveyed.

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