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Fertilization (Conception)

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6 to 9 Days

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A 2 week old embryo.2 Weeks

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3 Weeks

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4 Weeks

The placenta is an organ unique to gestating mammals, and it is truly amazing in its versatility. It is so important to the embryo that it was being prepared almost as soon as he or she was conceived. (4.) The placenta works like a born individual's lungs, digestive system, and kidneys work, all at once. (5.) The mother's body shelters her embryo, and her blood makes nutrients and oxygen available to him or her, but the mother's blood and the baby's can never mix. (11.) So the mother's lungs, her digestive system, and her kidneys can't take care of the embryo's body -- he or she has to do that independently through the embryonic half of the placenta, the chorion.

The chorion connects to the mother's uterus, and filters oxygen out of her blood into the baby's, just the way a born individual's lungs take oxygen out of the air and into his or her blood. It also gathers nutrition for the embryo, the same way a born individual's digestive system gathers nutrition from the food he or she eats. And A 4 week old embryo.lastly, the embryonic half of the placenta sifts waste out of the embryo's blood, like a born individual's kidneys take waste out of his or her blood (5., 11.). Soon the embryo's own kidneys will begin to function, and share this work with the placenta. (3.)

You should be aware that some sources consider the placenta to be a "materno-fetal" organ, made up of both maternal and fetal tissues. This is accurate as far as it goes, but can be misleading. Blood vessels from the chorion do entwine with blood vessels in endometrium, the lining of the mother's uterus, and both of these are essential to the embryo's survival. The combined endometrium and chorion make up the placenta. Both the chorionic blood vessels and the maternal blood vessels (endometrium) are passed out of the woman's body at birth.

However, the woman's tissues play no active part in maintaining the embryo - they are simply there and accessible to him or her. The chorion - the embryonic half of the placenta - is the active, life-sustaining half of the placenta. The term 'materno-fetal' accurately describes the placenta in that it serves as a junction between two Embryo just under 5 weeks old.unique circulatory systems; however, it should not be used to imply that the placenta is not the embryo's organ, or that the embryo is not biologically self-sufficient.

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5 Weeks

A 5 week old embryo.You may hear this disputed by pro-choicers; that these are not organized brain waves and thus should not be called brain waves at all, they are not from the higher brain structures, they are not indicative of true brain function, of thought, of awareness. All of these facts are disputed not just in the abortion debate, but in medicine in general. An honest answer to the question "Does the embryo think?" is simply "We don't know." There is ample reason to think that he or she does, however. The embryonic body is not built like a automobile or baked like a cake; it is a living being and it grows like one. Unlike human creations, nature's unfinished specimens are not piles of useless parts. All the parts of a healthy living thing are, at all times, functional to some degree. Nothing just sits there - life requires motion, action, usefulness. At no time does the embryo have a nonfunctional brain (or any other organ). It has a brain that is functional to the degree it is developed. Of course that brain cannot perform all the functions of an adult brain; but it is not just sitting there. It is working, in all its parts, including those parts that exist entirely so as to make us human beings conscious, aware, willful creatures.

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6 Weeks

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7 Weeks

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8 Weeks

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9 to 10 Weeks

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11 to 13 Weeks

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14 Weeks

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15 to 16 Weeks

Some pro-choice sources claim that myelinization does not occur for another month to two months, and that no significant brain activity or awareness is possible until that time. Put simply, they're wrong. There is piles of evidence, scientific and anecdotal, to prove that the fetus is sentient long before it has myelin.

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19 Weeks

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24 Weeks

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38 Weeks

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Works Cited: Text

1.) Chamberlain, David, ed.. "The fetal senses." Life before birth. http://www.birthpsychology.com/lifebefore/fetalsense.html

2.) Evidence of Dr. Harley Smyth (Position), Borowski v. The Attorney General of Canada 8C.C.C. (3d) 1983; See Trial for Life, Vol. 1, Alliance Against Abortion, Winnipeg, 1984, Testimony of Dr. Harley Smyth, p. 492.

3.) Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996.

4.) Gray's Anatomy. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1974.

5.) Hill, Mark. "Development of the Placenta." UNSW Embryology HomePage: Development Notes. (2000.) http://anatomy.med.unsw.edu.au/cbl/embryo/Notes/placenta.htm

6.) Hill, Mark. "Week 4 Development - Introduction." UNSW Embryology HomePage: Development Notes. (2000). http://anatomy.med.unsw.edu.au/cbl/embryo/Notes/week4_5.htm

7.) Hill, Mark. "Week 4 Development - Early Nervous System." UNSW Embryology HomePage: Development Notes. (2000). http://anatomy.med.unsw.edu.au/cbl/embryo/Notes/week4.htm

8.) Houp, Katherine H. "Embryology." Piotrowski, Nancy A., ed. v. 4 Magill's medical guide: health and illness suppliment. Salem Press; 1996. pp. 1069-1073.

9.) "Milestones in fetal development." Ohio Right to Life: Human Development. (24 Nov. 1995). http://www.ohiolife.org/develop/mileston.htm

10.) "Neurology." Piotrowski, Nancy A., ed. v. 4 Magill's medical guide: health and illness suppliment. Salem Press, 1996. pp. 1397 - 1400

11.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990.

12.) Purves, William K.; Gordon, H. Orians, H; Heller, Craig H.; Sadava, David. Life: the science of biology. Salt Lake City, UT: Sinauer Associates, 1998.

13.) Ross, Anna E. "Summary of prenatal development." Dr. Ross' Vertebrate Embryology Course (Bio 211): Contents of Unit 2 Embryology Lecture Notes. (Fall 1996). http://www.cbu.edu/~aross/emlec-u2.HTM#Summary_of_Prenatal_Development

14.) "Week 16." MouseWorks: The Visible Embryo. (2000.) http://www.visembryo.com/baby/week16.html

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Works Cited: Photographs

1.) Dr. R. Forman, London Gynaecology and Fertility Centre. Published in:

Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p. 22

2.) Carnegie Institute of Washington, Published in:

Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p.39

3.) Carnegie Institute of Washington, Published in:

Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p.39

4.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. p.79

5.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. p.81

6.) Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p.44

7.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. p.85

8.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. p.90

9.) Nilsson, Lennart. A Child is Born. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. p.109

10.) Dr. J.D. Bromhall. Published in:

Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p.66

11.) Anthea Seiveking. Published in:

Flanagan, Geraldine Lux. Beginning Life. New York: DK Publishing, 1996. p.104