Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When does life start?

Recently I was looking through some different pro-life pages on Facebook and ran across a discussion about when life begins. Most of the people participating in the discussion agreed that life begins at the moment of conception, when sperm meets egg. This is the view I agree with and it is what the Church teaches as well. If it doesn't begin there, it gets harder to say that any moment after that is when life begins, because it becomes harder to explain what the union of sperm and egg was from their first meeting until that later moment when life is suddenly there. It's completely logical: life has to start at the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg in the falopian tubes; not at the moment of implantation, not after the first trimester, nor at any other moment.

What was really interesting and disturbing to me was when someone brought the idea of when the soul enters that life. The person who brought this up said that she could not believe that God would create a life and give it a soul only to have it die while still in the womb; therefore she thought the soul probably came later. This totally upset me! Where there is a life there is a soul. And yes, sometimes those babies die. I know that first-hand.

Lately, these issues have been much more on my mind and they have caused me to contemplate more on a TV show I saw a while back, maybe a year and a half or more ago. The particular episode of this show was amazingly pro-life in its message and at the same time addresses an issue that many pro-abortion (or pro-choice) people use to support the killing of unborn babies.

The TV show was House, a medical drama about a doctor, Dr. House, who has a drug addiction but is still incredibly intelligent and does medicine his way, taking risks that others won't take while at the same time working with three residents. In the episode that I remember, he has a patient who is mysteriously sick and pregnant. I don't remember all the details, but essentially, Dr. House feels that the baby is actually killing her and she should abort the child. She refuses and insists that there must be a better way. The entire episode he won't call the baby anything but a fetus. The patient even calls him on it. Finally a solution to her problem is found and they have to perform a very risky surgery (it wouldn't be good TV otherwise). During the surgery, for some reason, they have to go into the womb without hurting the baby. And there is this amazing moment when the baby's hand reaches up and Dr. House notices it and things seem to slow down. As he watches this baby's hand reach up, he reaches out and the little baby fingers wrap around his finger. It is totally an amazing moment!

In the end the surgery is successful, the woman lives, and her baby was not harmed. Before she is discharged from the hospital Dr. House comes to see her and during their discussion he mentions "the baby." She notices right away that he has changed his vocabulary from fetus to baby!!

Most of today's media and certainly most of Hollywood is very liberal. To see a show like this that has such a powerful pro-life message is so rare and something we should be advocating for more of.

For anyone interested in more good pro-life entertainment, go see the movie Bella. Also, if you want to know what movies, books, and other forms of entertainment have good Christian messages and what don't, go check out Catholic Media Review, a blog that reviews all sorts of entertainment.

And, spread the word about life!! Life is precious and should be protected from that very first moment.


  1. Great post! I'm sorry I missed that episode of House--it sounds like it was good!

    Regarding the issue of where there is life, there is a soul: I totally agree with you, and I think most people do, deep down. I also think most people are aware that life begins at conception. I actually have a friend who is a gynocologist and has performed abortions. It's amazing how excited she gets when someone (who wants their baby) tells her they're pregnant--she refers to the baby as a "baby." But when she talks about abortion, it's a fetus. It's pretty clear to me that in these cases she's just lying to herself in order to make terminating a pregnancy seem palatable.

    The law of God is written on all our hearts, but I'm afraid many people would rather lie to themselves than look in the mirror and acknowledge that what they are doing goes against every moral law in the universe.

    Great posts!

  2. Anonymous6:36 AM

    I too enjoyed your post. I agree with Margaret - most of those people must be lying to themselves, but deep down know without question. But there's hope for them that God will transform their hearts and they will become honest with themselves. That's why I am so motivated to keep praying and fasting. Thank God for hope!