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