A common misconception is that a woman is not pregnant until after the fertilized egg, or blastocyst, implants in her uterus. The truth about pregnancy before implantation, however, is not only fascinating but suggests a different conclusion! Knowing these truths can fuel your pro-life advocacy of our youngest humans.
First of all, the long-standing, traditional definition of pregnancy is the state of having an offspring within the body. Instead, the current view being perpetuated incorrectly purports that after fertilization, the new entity becomes just a “ball of cells” rolling along until it implants and “Voila! Now there’s an offspring.”
In actuality, once started at fertilization, the new human gets busy not only with cell divisions but using nutrients in and about her cells, as well as making preparations for embedding into the uterine lining. She produces a special hormone which acts on her own cells to enable them to more easily enter the lining and to also not get rejected by her mom’s body. How does she know there’s a lining to come? Or that there could be immune rejection since her body is foreign to her mother’s? Hmm, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Furthermore, by the time she arrives at the top of the uterus, her cells are divvying up for their various roles. Some will become the body and amniotic sac. Others will form the baby’s side of the placenta — that cooperative organ to which both mom and baby contribute and that all humans need at that stage of living.
Implantation will be key for survival, but the new being is clearly living and active from fertilization on. And the mom is pregnant the whole time.
I hope this brief glimpse into life before implantation strengthens your resolve to keep telling the truth to protect and support human life from conception onward.Dr. Joan Sage is a retired pediatrician who practiced in the Portland metro area. She serves as the Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation’s president.