As I See It: When does life begin?

A look back on the abortion debate since 1965


This is a question for the ages, and so many levels of our legal system are going to have to address it sooner or later.

And the answer is surprisingly simple but it seems to elude us because many of us humans seem to be uncomfortable with the truth — because the truth has so many implications and presents us with inconvenient responsibilities.

On the cover of the April 30, 1965, issue of Life Magazine, there is a photograph of a live 18-week-old fetus (baby) shown inside its amniotic sac. Published just short of eight years prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, the photo’s caption reads “Drama of Life Before Birth.”

I emphasize, “Life Before Birth!”

At 18 weeks, approximately halfway through pregnancy, the baby is fully formed — all facial features are easily visible, and limbs with hands, fingers, feet and toes are exceptionally clear and leave no doubt this is a living child.


In six more weeks, the baby has up to a 70% chance of survival if born prematurely.

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Eighty-six percent of all abortions are sought by unmarried women compared to 14% for those who are married. Four percent of babies conceived in a marriage are aborted compared to 40% conceived outside of marriage.

Certainly the absence or presence of a father has a great influence on how a woman reacts to a pregnancy. The stigma of an unwed mother that I witnessed when I was young is all but gone, but the current pro-life emotional, medical and financial support agencies and networks are outgunned by the very profitable abortion industry, radical feminists, politicians and the one-sided liberal media.

This is deplorable.

Imagine I’m a farmer who grows wheat, corn, soybean, sunflower or whatever. In the spring, I plow the ground preparing the soil for planting. I fertilize and sow the seed, covering it with soil and count on the spring rains to arrive with enough moisture to enable the seed to germinate.

I watch and wait expectantly as the plants sprout and begin to grow in the summer sun.

What if I just decided I didn’t want to go through the trouble of harvesting my crop and plowed the whole mess under and took a long vacation. Sounds really stupid, doesn’t it?

So does abortion if you understand our place in nature where the purpose of heterosexual intercourse is procreation of the human race. It’s not recreation!


Pete Abler - As I See It.jpg
Echo Journal Columnist / Pete Abler

Back to the question at the beginning. When did plant’s life begin? I don’t think you’d argue with it being the point the seed germinated.

So, when does human life begin? The obvious and scientifically/biologically supportable answer is — when the woman’s egg is fertilized by the male’s sperm!

That’s the inconvenient truth that so many don’t want to hear, much less accept.

Think about the 18-week-old child on the cover of Life Magazine. That preborn child was alive; and yet today, all the other preborn children in some states, including Minnesota, are treated as nonbeings who don’t even have any level of legal protection that approaches that afforded to cats and dogs!

Disgusting, tragic, beyond comprehension isn’t descriptive enough of this situation.

Don’t plant the seed if you don’t want the crop.

That’s the way I see it.

Opinion by Pete Abler
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