Thursday, December 06, 2007

Search: "18 week embryo"

Somebody was searching for "18 week embryo". There is no such thing, any more than there's 19-year-old infant. At conception, the new entity is an embryo. At 8 week, every major system is in place and the young human is now a fetus.

Here is The Visible Embryo's illustration of, and information about, an 18 week fetus. The fetus is about five to five and a half inches long from the crown of its head to its bottom (they're measured that way because of how they lie curled up in the womb) and weighs about 5.25 ounces or 150 grams. Among the developmental milestones:
  • Fetus has phases of sleep and waking and may prefer a favorite sleep position. .... Eyebrows begin to form.
  • Ovaries of female fetuses contain primitive egg cells. The uterus of female fetuses is also fully formed.

At this site you can see 3D ultrasounds of unborn babies of various ages, and ultrasound video clips of 17 and 19 week fetuses.

Here is the famous Life magazine cover showing an 18-week fetus, still alive and with the amniotic sac entact, after a hysterotomy abortion. (Like a c-section, but with the intention being a dead fetus rather than a live baby.)

What does an abortion do to an 18 week fetus? A medical illustration of how a second-trimester D&E abortion is performed is here. The illustration uses a 14-week fetus but the only difference in a D&E at 18 weeks is the size, as you can see by this medical illustration of a D&E abortion of a 23-week fetus. And this site offers footage of an actual D&E abortion, though I can't determine exactly what gestational age. It's not far off from 18 weeks, as best as I can tell, and it's very graphic so click at your own risk. I can't find properly labeled photos of the body of a D&E aborted baby specifically at 18 weeks, but this one certainly is in the ballpark.

For a blast from the past, here is a picture of some "candy apple babies", as the victims of saline abortions were called. The bright red color of these babies was caused by the saline eating away the outer layer of skin. Abortion practitioners in the United States have largely abandoned this technique, which was usually done overnight in a hospital, for the D&E method which is far less likely to result in a dreaded live birth.

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