Tag Archives: human life

Personhood, from a Biologist’s Perspective

Sometimes the arguments from pro-RH folks leaves one scratching one’s head.

Most of us attended school and took biology classes, correct? We were all taught that human life begins at conception. And yet take a quick look at the debate forums on Facebook, the arguments at Twitter, the posts at both pro- and anti-RH pages, and it’s clear that some people have either been deceived, or are out to deceive.

Life begins at fertilization. That’s fact. Fertilization = conception. That’s fact too. We can play around with words all day, but bottom line, we all know when human life begins. The only reason we would want to deny that fact is because we want to get around the argument that contraceptives can actually kill a newly formed human life. And if we can’t get around that argument, we’ll have to ask our conscience if we are not in fact advocating murder, albeit of a human who may look like, in the beginning, “just a clump of cells”. But isn’t that where we all began?

Let’s start out with ‘Is a human present at conception?’

Before I answer, let me give you a little biology background in genetics: All living organisms have these crazy things called genomes. Genomes contain all of the DNA present within an organism. DNA is genetic material that contains all the information necessary for the structure and function of an organism.

Let me share an interesting little example for you. If you have a bacteria of species X, you take its genome out, and add in the genome from bacterial species Y, bacteria X will turn into bacteria Y. That’s right- species X will transform into species Y. If you don’t believe me, ask Craig Venter: http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

This means that the identity of an organism is defined by the DNA that is present in its genome! You are a human because you have a human genome. I also am a human because I have a human genome. Winnie-the-Poo is a bear because he has a bear genome (Grizzly?). Free Willy is a killer whale because he has a killer whale genome. Babe, Lassie, and Flipper are all… I digress.

More here.

Is A Human Present At Conception?

Before I answer, let me give you a little biology background in genetics: All living organisms have these crazy things called genomes. Genomes contain all of the DNA present within an organism. DNA is genetic material that contains all the information necessary for the structure and function of an organism.

Let me share an interesting little example for you. If you have a bacteria of species X, you take its genome out, and add in the genome from bacterial species Y, bacteria X will turn into bacteria Y. That’s right- species X will transform into species Y. If you don’t believe me, ask Craig Venter: http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

This means that the identity of an organism is defined by the DNA that is present in its genome! You are a human because you have a human genome. I also am a human because I have a human genome. Winnie-the-Poo is a bear because he has a bear genome (Grizzly?). Free Willy is a killer whale because he has a killer whale genome. Babe, Lassie, and Flipper are all… I digress.

Read more here.

When Abortion Seems to be the Only Way Out

by Ruby Ann Kagaoan.

At the Senate, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago assures that the Reproductive Health Bill does not promote abortion but in fact aims to reduce it. “Under the Penal Code, abortion is a crime, and it will remain a crime under the RH bill. In fact, one important reason to pass the RH bill is that it will reduce abortions,” Santiago said in her recent sponsorship speech.

Although considered a crime in our country, statistics pointed out by Santiago reveal that “one in three unplanned pregnancies in our country ends in abortion” and “nine out of 10 women who resort to induced abortions are married women, 87 percent of whom are Catholics.”

Although against the country’s laws and one’s faith, why do women resort to abortion? For the pregnant woman in crisis, or the couple, abortion seems to be the only way out.

When we talk about which is the greater crime or sin, abortion or having an unwanted child that you cannot provide for, we delve into morality. But let me start this discussion on the level of health, both physical and emotional, and what are sound options to consider where life can be preserved for both the mother and the unwanted child.

Abortion is a painful process for the woman, physically and emotionally. The unwanted child may have been removed, but not the pain. I have yet to see a woman who has had an abortion not suffer in torment after killing her unborn child, although many years, and even decades, have passed since her having an abortion. Additionally, and this may be viewed by some as merely anecdotal, I have noticed that women who have had D&C after a miscarriage or have had an abortion end up with less ability to complete a pregnancy later in life, no matter how much they already want to have a child, and this, in my analysis, may have something to do with how their uterine walls have been affected by the scraping and other procedures done during a D&C or an abortion. (Let a medical doctor verify this observation.)

There are ways to feed and raise a child, unwanted he or she may be. Consider giving the baby up for adoption. There are institutions that can help save an unwanted baby by helping the mother find suitable adoptive parents for her unwanted baby. In doing this, the woman is spared from the physical and emotional trauma abortion can cause her, and the baby is given a chance to live.

At Grace To Be Born, one of the seven ministries of the Kerygma Family that help pregnant women in crisis, several babies have been saved from abortion. Call 725-9999 for counseling and help or visit its website at http://kerygmafamily.com/modules/counseling/.

Life comes from somewhere greater than what our human bodies can produce. You and I are alive not merely because our cells regenerate, not merely because our lungs process our inhalation and exhalation, but because there is a force beyond us that put life into our bodies. That same force moves the stars and planets, galaxies, and the spaces in between. That force is greater than us humans. It is a force that creates, a force that sustains, a force that can provide love where there is no love. It is a force that can feed a child and his/her mother, for as long as the mother doesn’t lose hope. To kill through abortion is not the solution. To tell someone that it is the solution reveals the state of the heart of the one prescribing abortion.

What we need to tell our people who are considering abortion is what life means. When new life is created, whether willingly or unwillingly, let us tell them what options there are wherein this new life is sustained.

This article is first published in the tabloid, People’s Tonight, and online in Journal Online.

About the Author: Ruby Ann Kagaoan is a published author, book editor, composer-singer-pianist, poet, essayist, nationally awarded playwright, journalist, educator, and English trainer. Her column, Pinay@Heart, is published regularly at Journal Online. She blogs at pinay@heart.