When does life begin?

Kate CP - posted on 12/18/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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So...when does a pregnancy REALLY occur to you? Is it when the sperm meets the egg? Is it when it implants in the uterine lining? Is it only after a confirmed pregnancy test?

Based on your beliefs, what method of birth control is or isn't "acceptable"?

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Minnie - posted on 12/18/2010

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I used to believe it began at conception. Like most fundamental Christians. And then I learned about ecological breastfeeding... and how it is probably the most natural state of breastfeeding for humans, just like any other animal.

Well, that sort of breastfeeding thins the lining of the uterus making the implantation of a fertilized egg much less likely than if someone were not breastfeeding, or breastfeeding like western culture mothers do.

Kinda threw me for a loop...natural design of breastfeeding can basically cause abortion of the fertilized embryo. Now I believe it begins upon implantation.

~Jennifer - posted on 12/18/2010

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............actually, if you think about it, it's just life continuing.....not beginning.

;)

Kate CP - posted on 05/05/2011

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Well, according to science you're not pregnant until the egg implants in the uterine wall. So which is it? You're pregnant when then egg is fertilized or you're pregnant when the fertilized egg implants?

Iridescent - posted on 03/18/2011

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http://joeschwartz.net/life.htm - The first breath. Before that, the fetus/embryo/zygote/egg is totally and completely dependent on the mother and simply has the potential for life.

Pregnancy begins at implantation, not conception. Until the blastocyst implants, your body is making identical changes it would as if the egg were never fertilized. Implantation changes that.

Birth control - I think whatever works for you is fine, but abortion does not equate birth control. Once pregnancy has started, it should be seen through unless the mother's life is at risk or there is no chance of a viable life for the fetus.

Julie - posted on 03/15/2011

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Science is VERY clear - "Life" begins at fertilisation.

"Pregnancy" doesn't begin until implantation. But life exists before implantation.

I find the idea that life doesn't begin til conscious thought begins is rather barbaric... what about the disabled baby who will never have it's own concious thought? what about the disabled adult? can we "abort" them because they don't "think"?

no.

Life is life, regardless of thought.

Even anti-life doctors rarely argue against the known scientific FACT that life begins at conception. They just qualify abortion by saying some forms of life are less than others so it's ok to kill innocent babies because they are lesser life forms.

Which is exactly the same argument Hitler used to kill millions of people. Along with many other dictators who have butchered millions in the name of eugenics/ethnic cleansing/the idea that some forms of life are "lesser" than others.

Sorry, once you say that a life is somehow "less life" (or God forbid, not even a valid "life" at all) then you've gone down a slippery slope that is nearly impossible to climb up from.

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Mel - posted on 05/22/2011

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I can see this old, but for me the minute you have unprotected sex you should be prepared for pregnancy because you made that choice and therefore shouldlnt be drinking smoking etc after that point. I am fine with morning after pill if someone decides to use it , but me personally I wouldnt. If something is meant to be it will be. I personally wont use any protection until I am done having children. If pregnancy happens to early so be it we deal with it

Amanda - posted on 05/22/2011

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i think life begins at fertilization and any form of birth control EXCEPT Abortion is fine with me...i myself had essure done after my second child.

CA - posted on 05/05/2011

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"When does a pregnancy really occur to you?" This question in and of itself is flawed because pregnancy is not a state of mind, but a physical state of being. The question of when life begins has one and ONLY one answer, and that is the SCIENTIFIC answer - at fertilization.

The very second sperm meets egg, a brand new, individual, unrepeatable genetic code is written for that human. That is a brand new human from that moment forward. The only thing that ever changes about it is its size.

People try to bring in all kinds of philosophical, religious, or random personal beliefs into this topic, but it really is a simple matter of Science. Drives me nuts when people try to overcomplicate this.

Stifler's - posted on 03/18/2011

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I think it begins when you know you're pregnant. You made the foetus, you're responsible for nurturing it.

Veronica - posted on 03/18/2011

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I dont know 'when' life begins -- the Lord says, "I knew you before I knit you in your mother's womb" so for me - our soul is already "there" awaiting to be "placed" into the next human being. I guess I think life begins when sperm meets egg - and fertilizes - which is a huge process and miracle in itself. And I agree pregnancy begins with implantation. I dont know the answer to another question of when does body and soul meet - thats something you cannot ever measure or rest for. Maybe that time is when there is a first heartbeat - I dont know.

Anyhow - I used to be ok with condoms - but my huband isn't. I won't do IUD, as a few women in my family ended up with punctured uteruses and had to have hysterectomies from it. Pills/hormonal BC cause too many problems - my sisters and cousins are always having cysts and other uterine problems. My husband and I chose NFP. As for abortion - never. What someone else does with their own body is their own choice, even if I dont agree with it -- but I would never do it. If it meant that I would die - then let me die so my child can live. If something bad/drastic came along - then I would birth the baby and put it up for adoption - Ive seen mothers who had two kids, were pregnant and had to give the third one up for adoption cause they couldnt bring up another child. So, i think there are other choices. But this isnt an abortion debate.

Desiree - posted on 03/18/2011

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From the very moment I suspect or know for sure. Until then I am oblivious to the precious gift I may be carrying.

Sarah - posted on 03/17/2011

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I believe LIFE begins the exact moment the sperm and egg meet!!!! As for the BC, it all depends on the person.

Bondlets - posted on 03/15/2011

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I'd always said life begins at conception yet after watching a friend go through IVF and seeing pix of the process from the earliest cellular stage...wow. I believe with everything in me that life begins at conception and is an absolutely amazing, mind-boggling miracle.

As for birth control, I don't agree with anything that affects a fertilized embryo - meaning anything that prevents implantation.

Jenni - posted on 03/15/2011

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Yikes! I can't even pretend to know the answer to when life begins when even scientists can't answer the question definitively. What classifies something as being alive?
When it can die?
Is a sperm alone alive? It can die, has motion but yet it's only considered half an organism.
If sperm are alive, eggs are alive; you could even make the argument that since two cells (gametes) enter, but only one cell (a zygote) leaves, fertilization ends a life.
When does a *human* life begin? I'm guessing a short time after fertilization.

Acceptable birth control for me... pretty much anything including the morning after pill.
As far as abortion goes. I'd like to say I'd never consider it for myself and I'd hope I will never be in a situation where I'd have to consider it. Situations I'd have to at least consider it (not saying I'd go through with it, I wouldn't know unless I was in that situation) would be in the case of a rape or financial instability. If I were addicted to drugs or very young. Most likely I wouldn't, unless I was desperate and felt there was no other choice. I'd have to be under extreme hardships to even consider it.

As for others... pro-choice. I respect that everyone has different beliefs when it comes to abortion. And a lot of those beliefs stem from the argument on "when life begins".

Brandi - posted on 03/15/2011

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IMO it begins when the heartbeat starts. People have their own opinions on it.

I think any type of birth control is acceptable.

Michele - posted on 03/15/2011

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Scientifically, a fertilized egg is "life" in a way that the sperm and egg are not. The real question is whether a fertilized egg, or an implanted egg, or a fetus has "humanity". The egg/fetus is not just part of the mother's body, although it is dependent on it. It has separate DNA and is a separate "being", IMO.
I agree that cognizance/awareness is not the complete answer either. That is complicated, too.
I am fine with birth control. Preventing sperm meeting egg is the best way. I am personally pro-life, but I think there are some situations where abortion is necessary. I REALLY don't like using it as birth control, but I am in no position to judge other people. This is a tough question in so many ways.

Nicole - posted on 12/19/2010

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life begins when a soul enters the body or when the brain gains consciousness...possibly both

Gina - posted on 12/19/2010

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At conception. Even though I'm pro-choice, I can never have an abortion myself, I support the right of every women having a choice.I'm also totally for birth control.

Laressa - posted on 12/19/2010

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For me it begins at fertilization. My hubby and I both had that feeling that this was IT! both times. Once was totally unplanned but we just knew, much as we didn't exactly want it to be at the time. (We are excited now however, and due in 8 weeks) So yeah for us we're pretty convinced its at conception.

Amanda - posted on 12/19/2010

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Well pregnancy for me doesn't really set in until I am pushing that lil baby out!!! :0

And as long as you're on birth control prescribed by the doctor and you don't need to resort to abortion than that's fine...everyone has their own rights....

Doreen - posted on 12/19/2010

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I don't think the actual moment when lucky Mr. Sperm moves in with the Miss Egg :) LOL but rather the moment the heart start to beat.
Successful conception, however, does not occur until the embryo implants into the endometrium of the uterus. This is when you are considered officially pregnant. Which happens about a week to 10 days after ovulation.
Occur to me... not until I saw the heart beat on sonar & ofcourse when I felt the baby moving.
Any birth control method is acceptable depending on your culture & preference, but once that heart starts beating your already a mom. I never liked any birth control method simply because I am useless at remembering to pop the pill EVERY day and I didn't like the whole idea of pumping my system full of male hormone.
Abortion is unacceptable for religious, medical and psychological reasons.

April - posted on 12/19/2010

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For me, Life beings at conception..whether or not the egg implants.

For ME...it isn't acceptable to use chemical birth control or condoms. I don't like the side effects..I prefer NFP.

FOr everyone else: as long as you're not using abortion as a form of BC, then I don't care what the heck you do to prevent pregnancy (provided it isn't something stupid like throw yourself down the stairs in an effort to miscarry, etc..)

Shauna - posted on 12/19/2010

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When the sperm meets the egg. I am pro Life for myself, but believe in Pro Choice for other women.

Isobel - posted on 12/19/2010

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Now that I think about it...the egg is alive, and you have them at birth so...by the time the egg is fertilized, that "life" is already 20 or thirty years old (or however old you are when you conceive) whoa...trippy

Sherri - posted on 12/19/2010

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Pregnancy when I confirm the pregnancy test.

All birth control is acceptable to me.

Kate CP - posted on 12/19/2010

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"It's true that the hormonal ones do, but I got the impression that other hormonal methods worked better at preventing ovulation than the IUD. Like I said, it was a personal concience thing for me..."



Even the older copper ones work the same way. If your body thinks your pregnant you generally don't ovulate. If something is implanted in your uterine lining (regardless of whether or not it's secreting hormones) your body will think it's pregnant.

Tracey - posted on 12/19/2010

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For me life begins when the baby can exist outside it's mother's body, until then it is part of my body.
All birth control is acceptable for me as long as it works, and ladies - breastfeeding is not an effective contraceptive as my son's existence proves.

C. - posted on 12/19/2010

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I believe that life begins AT conception. If it implants, great! And if not, you'll never know. But either way, that is when everything STARTS to happen (implantation, cells grow, etc). (Note: I said it STARTS to happen, not happens all at once. Just want to clarify that for some..)

I do not like birth control of any sort. I am on it at this time for medical reasons. I am not happy about it, but if it helps rule out other possibilities by not working (which is happening.. It's just not working), then I guess that's what I have to do.

Stifler's - posted on 12/19/2010

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All birth control is acceptable to me. A pregnancy occurs IMO when a blastocyst implants in the uterine lining. Because a lot of the time we had fertilized eggs and they pass without implanting.

Becky - posted on 12/19/2010

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I'm with those who believe life begins at implantation. Until implantation occurs, it's only a potential life. I am okay with any form of birth control that actually prevents a pregnancy from occuring, but not birth control that ends a pregnancy. Personally though, I prefer to avoid hormonal birth control for myself because I'm not crazy about the side effects and breast cancer runs in my family.

[deleted account]

I would love to think it's at time of conception but for me it begins when it's confirmed. With my first it was a lot like Dana said, it became real when I heard her heart beat. With my second, third and fourth, the confirmation was all I needed.

Whatever birth control works is acceptable for me and right now that a tubal:)

Desiree - posted on 12/18/2010

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From the moment the egg is fertilized life begins in my opinion. Any type of birth control is far better than Abortion, but I am not saying that in extreme case abortion is not acceptable. When the mother life is at stake or when she is extremely young or has been rapped or certain types of disabilities that render the mother unable to care for her child.

Katherine - posted on 12/18/2010

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I believe it's at conception also. I'm totally pro-life, BUT I would rather someone took the morning after pill at that point than have an abortion at 3-4 months.

[deleted account]

I believe its when the sperm meets the egg. Contraceptives are alright to use. I dont like the hormonal ones, they cause too many problems. Rutin, is a natural contraceptive i would feel much better using something like that, as it has no really bad side effects. Abortion and the morning after pill, or "plan b", i do not agree with. I use the rhythm method. (latex makes me burn, i think i might be allergic.)

Nelly - posted on 12/18/2010

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i believe its when the sperm and egg meet. My beliefs don't allow contraceptives so we use the rhythm method

Bonnie - posted on 12/18/2010

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I believe life begins when the egg implants in the uterine lining, but it doesn't seem real to me until hearing the heartbeat. I have had people tell me a fetus is not a human being until it is born. That just bugs the hell out of me. To me, if it has a heartbeat than it is a human life.

[deleted account]

"But the IUD also prevents fertilization by telling your body you're already pregnant, thus skipping the ovulation step (in most cases). No ovulation=no egg to implant."

It's true that the hormonal ones do, but I got the impression that other hormonal methods worked better at preventing ovulation than the IUD. Like I said, it was a personal concience thing for me.

It's also true as Lisa said, that some churches take a stand on what methods of birth control people use. There is in my opinion, a difference between accidently shedding an embryo through breastfeeding or using a hormonal method of birth control to prevent ovulation than taking steps to do it deliberately. With most methods of birth control the possibility is so remote that it occurs less often than if a woman wasn't using birth control. One could surely argue that breastfeeding or the using of birth control actually decreases the number of embryos being lost.

The legal definition of a human is made by people and the scientific definition is an interpretaion of when life begins based on certain factors. I tend to view a human as one who exists by the will of God rather than by what it can feel, think or do. Thats why I see an embryo as a human.

[deleted account]

It was difficult for me to truly embrace until I heard her heart beating. April 16th, 2008 it all became real to me! Unfortunately I was almost 20 weeks along.

We're trying to conceive again and I think that this time around, as soon as I have confirmation I'll be more accepting of it!

In theory, life begins at birth! Conception is conception and a potential life!

[deleted account]

Conception. I am certainly in favor of birth control, but can't give you my personal opinions on any since I have never done any research on them and haven't been on any actual form of birth control since May 2005. ;)

Minnie - posted on 12/18/2010

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Yes, definitely, Ali, breastfeeding usually prevents ovulation to begin with. But with my religious background, we were totally against people using hormonal birth control because of the possibility of aborting a fertilized egg- hormonal birth control also thins the uterine lining as a back up measure.



So when I learned that basically God's design was a thin lining of a uterus as a back-up to the anovulatory state of ecological breastfeeding, well, it made me definitely reconsider things.

Kate CP - posted on 12/18/2010

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But the IUD also prevents fertilization by telling your body you're already pregnant, thus skipping the ovulation step (in most cases). No ovulation=no egg to implant.

[deleted account]

Life begins at conception. I'm not going to lie, I admit that I'm somewhat confused about when conception begins. Definately at implantation, but I tend to see a fertilized egg as life too.

It's true that some slip through and don't implant, but breastfeeding and birth control make it unlikely for an egg to be fertilized in the first place so less are lost in this way than if a woman wasn't protected in the first place.

I'm ok with birth control that primarily prevents fertilization. I had an IUD removed because it was affecting my personal concience.

Petra - posted on 12/18/2010

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I agree Krista - since pregnancy technically begins when the fertilized egg implants, that's when I would consider a viable "life" beginning. I honestly think that life really does begin at the moment of conception, but since implantation hasn't occurred, pregnancy hasn't begun, and the future destination of the fertilized egg is still in question. It is a living cell, albeit a simple one, but its implantation can not be guaranteed...ish... my thoughts are kind of muddled on this one, it is a very difficult question.



Per contraceptives - use them! Use as many as you can handle. I absolutely do not view abortion as a method of birth control, but any birth control should be put to use unless you're actively trying to get pregnant.

[deleted account]

I believe life starts at fertilization. It's the first step and where else would life begin but at the beginning? My religious beliefs don't dictate what is or isn't acceptable as far as birth control methods. My personal beliefs are that birth control is a good thing. The best form, of course being abstinence. I am pro-choice as I don't believe anyone should be able to tell a woman what to do with her body. That said, I think it's appropriate on a case by case basis. In cases of rape and incest, by all means, do it. I don't think I could be a good mother to a child conceived under those circumstances. But if you're too irresponsible to take care of business in the first place, deal with the consequences and find someone who does want and will care for that child.

Rosie - posted on 12/18/2010

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i believe life begins at implantation. sure there could be life when an egg and sperm unite, but without it implanting nothing is going to happen except get flushed out with the rest of the crud when you have a period. a fertilized egg NEEDS a uterus to form a child, if it doesn't implant it doesn't form into a child-it is just a mass of cells.

any type of birth control is acceptable to me. i prefer non hormonal since i'm getting old, and strokes are in my family. plus they fuck with my emotions and stuff.

Krista - posted on 12/18/2010

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See, that's the tricky bit -- "life" and "pregnancy" are two separate animals.

Medically, you're not pregnant until implantation. But as far as HUMAN life goes? That's a trickier thing to define. Is a zygote a human life? It is simply a fertilized egg, with no brain, no heartbeat -- just a single celled organism with a bunch of DNA in it. Is that a human life? Or is it only a human life once the heartbeat starts?

Isobel - posted on 12/18/2010

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life begins when the egg meets the sperm...and you get rights when you develop cognizance.

Krista - posted on 12/18/2010

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I go by the medical definition of pregnancy, which is when a fertilized egg implants into the uterus.

Hence, any effective mainstream form of birth control is acceptable to me.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/18/2010

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I believe it is when the fetus has it's first conscious thought. (Normally around 16 weeks).
All forms of birth control are acceptable to me.

[deleted account]

Eh, I don't know, really. I'm pretty sure no one actually knows the exact moment a sperm meets an egg, or when the zygote implants, so for most people the confirmed pregnancy test is the only way of knowing. Unless you used IVF, and even then who's to say the fertilized egg will implant and grow into a healthy baby?

As for birth control and contraceptives, I'm all for it. People should use them more often, or keep their zippers zipped if they don't want kids. However, abortions are not and should never be considered a legitimate method of birth control. I am pro-choice to an extent. I look at all things worth considering before I say I agree or disagree with a woman who chooses to have an abortion. If she's just doing it because she doesn't want to take care of a baby, or her boyfriend doesn't want to pay child support, or her friends and family would shun her, then I don't think it's right. I think it's selfish and could have been prevented if she'd just kept her legs shut. But if she was raped and could not take care of a child or did not want that child to live in this world, then I can see why she'd want to do it.

But this is about the beginning of life and birth control. Eh, life begins at conception and birth control is a damn good thing.

Cassie - posted on 12/18/2010

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I believe life begins when the fertilized egg implants.

Any form of birth control other than abortion is acceptable to me. :)

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