First, one-third of human conceptions are spontaneously aborted, usually due to major genetic or chromosomal abnormalities.
Often, a woman will think she’s missed a menstrual period, not yet recognizing she’s pregnant. Then, about two-three weeks later, she will have what appears to be a delayed period with much higher than normal bleeding.
No, it’s not; actually, she’s just had a spontaneous abortion.
And, that’s not all.
Neonatologists believe that many gestations actually begin as twins, whether one fertilized embryo quickly divides or two eggs get fertilized and implanted at the same time.
But, most births are singletons. What’s happening?
Darwinism (ooh, another nasty word to some) inside the womb.
If one fetus grows much slower than the other, it usually gets absorbed, or to be deliberately blunt, cannibalized by the other.
How do we know this?
Well, non-identical twins have different genetic makeups. We know of adults who, for example, have multiple blood types swimming inside their one bloodstream. Only one way that could have happened.
Other adults have cysts, that may turn cancerous or trigger autoimmune disorders, that have bits of bone or tissue from the “absorbed” twin.
Yes, this sounds unaesthetic, at least, and grotesque, at worst. That’s exactly the point.
To put it another way, for every two pair of “Precious Feet” we see on lapel pins, there’s one pair of terminally genetically damaged feet. Or, for every two pair of “Precious Feet” there’s probably at least three-four pair that have been “absorbed.”
That right there shows that the omnipotent deity of fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals isn’t so almighty after all.
A few sidebars here:
One — do NOT claim this is actually the result of “original sin.” You will thereby have ruled yourself entirely out of the bounds of rational, science-and-medicine based discourse on conception, pregnancy and abortion. Period.
Two — neither the Tanakh nor the Christian New Testament use a Greek or Hebrew equivalent word, or even phrase, to “abortion.” The procedure, let alone a judgment upon it, simply isn’t mentioned.
Do NOT claim that the Mosaic Law comment about the fine a man is supposed to pay for assaulting a pregnant woman and causing a miscarriage has anything to do with abortion.
Three, this just shoots to hell, or Gitmo, the idea that “a soul is produced at conception.”
A. In the case of identical twins, then a second soul magically appears out of nowhere, unless you believe one soul magically split, too.
B. In the case of the “absorbed twin” embryos, one soul just got killed, by Religious Right logic; similarly, in the case of a spontaneous abortion, the mother just killed a soul. You gonna arrest a kid five minutes after birth for murdering his or her twin?
That said, I am open to some dialogue on this issue. Basically, on the politics of the issue, I favor converting our current trimester system on reproductive choice to a bimester system, while simultaneously federalizing freer reproductive choice in the first bimester and allowing states more latitude than they have now to install even more restrictive standards in the second bimester.