“The Embryo of Me”
THE more man learns about how the fetus develops, the more he is confronted by evidence showing that, from early on, it is a gradually unfolding life with feeling, hearing, sight, movement, and other functions. He continues to be startled by discoveries showing that it is more than a mere collection of cells and tissue. In Chatelaine, a Canadian women’s magazine, Anne Beirne sets out what is now known. Moving: Though the mother may not feel it, the fetus starts to move its muscles as early as eight weeks—and its heart is already beating! “By 28 weeks, a normally developing fetus moves at least ten times every 12 hours.” Feeling: At 16 weeks, it reacts to pain, even kicking if stuck by the needle used in amniocentesis. Hearing: It can hear its mother’s heartbeat at 24 weeks and responds to loud sounds, music, and voices. “It can even bounce in rhythm to its mother’s voice.” Seeing: “By 16 weeks, its eyes have developed to the point where they can move around; by 24 weeks, . . . the fetus is able to detect light through the uterine wall.”
Jehovah also, from the conception of the new life, sees all of this—the marvelous, gradual development of an individual. Those who truly respect life and its Source will not ignore this fact, acting as if an abortion were only the removal of nothing more than a cluster of cells. To Jehovah, the psalmist said: “Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.”—Psalm 139:16.