Fetuses are human beings


I am writing in response to the letter “Fetuses aren’t conscious beings” from Jan.19.

I find it disconcerting that Christopher Simons apparently thinks human beings spontaneously pop out of women when it’s their time to be born and are all of a sudden human. Are you sure the stork didn’t bring them, too?

If he took the time to study the medical facts, he would have found what I have. First off, the first trimester obviously is the first three months. Eighteen days after fertilization, the heart begins to beat independently of the mother’s. After 20 days, the brain begins to form. At 40 days, brain waves can be recorded from the fetus. At 4 to 8 weeks, the baby is capable of responding to outside stimuli such as touch. At 8 weeks the baby’s organs are fully formed and it is completely recognizable as human.

Moreover, almost from conception the baby has neurotransmitters in the embryonic nervous tissue that allow it to respond to the emotional state of the mother. This sounds like “feeling” to me.

For Simons’ information, the definition of life is a being that is capable of reproduction, consumes nutrients and grows. All of these are applicable to a fetus. From the first day after fertilization the embryo is human.

I defy Simons to prove that at his stage of life he was anything different than a zygote. To say anything else would be to say that life spontaneously occurs and that has absolutely no basis in fact.

Mark Sorensen? Senior, Political Science