Pro-Choice Students Rethink Abortion After Studying Chicken Embryos

National   |   Sarah Terzo   |   Sep 11, 2014   |   10:48AM   |   Washington, DC

Ted Merrill, who has performed some abortions himself, talks about how students in one of his classes started to rethink their views on abortion, just because they were able to witness the development of chicken embryos. He says:

“Extreme positions may be easier when the argument is intellectual. But they don’t hold up at close range. I noticed this in my interactions with college students in an anatomy and physiology class I taught. The nine students in this all-female class were unequivocally in favor of abortion rights when we started the section on reproduction. But something changed when they studied live chick embryos.

humanembryos3I had explained to them that all vertebrates closely resemble one another during early development. Then we open fertilized eggs at various stages. Under a microscope, eggs that have incubated for 36 hour show the first rudiments of an embryo, and a crude tubular structure rhythmically twitching in the center. At 48 hours, you can see an elementary – but definitely formed – heart pumping red blood cells through a looped network of tubes. You can recognize an eye. Just a day later, there are limbs, a face, and a brain that looks like linked sausages.

As the young women looked at these early-stage embryos and watched that amazing little heart beating, they were moved. “If we closed up the shell and put it back in the incubator, would it still grow?” one of them asked me. Another said, “It’s going to die in a little while under the microscope, isn’t it?” A third student declared, “I don’t think we should be doing this.” And while some of my students couldn’t wait to see how the embryo progressed through the later stages of development, others became upset and refused to open any more eggs.

When I brought the talk around to abortion again, I noticed that their feelings were no longer clear-cut. They all upheld a woman’s right to choose, but felt that other factors had to be considered, too.”

Ted Merrill “Abortion: Extreme Views Ignore Reality” Medical Economics, July 15, 1996

So often, people have views on abortion based on impersonal sound bites and slogans they have heard. They do not consider the reality of the unborn baby. Even seeing the embryos of chickens started these students thinking about the reality of life in the womb. Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry.