When the human embryo is only the size of a raisin, he or she already needs a functioning, beating heart to survive, medical lecturer Dr. Mobeen Syed said in a 2017 talk.
The lecture refutes recent propaganda from abortion activists claiming that an unborn baby does not have a heartbeat by six weeks of pregnancy.
Syed’s lecture was for medical students and doctors. It had nothing to do with politics or the abortion issue, but the information that he shared sheds light on the truth about the early development of the human heart.
In his 2017 lecture on embryology and the heart, Syed explained that the heart is the first organ that develops and begins to function in the human body. He said the organ begins “beating and pumping blood” by the fifth week of pregnancy LMP, which is the third week after conception.
“The heart is the very first organ that starts developing, and it is the first organ that reaches a functional state. Can you imagine that the heart reaches a functional state even before its own development completes?” he said.
Although the embryo is only about the size of a raisin at this stage, he said it needs a functioning heart to continue to grow.
“The reason for that is, until the second week of development, the embryo can receive the oxygenation and nutrition through diffusion, and it can get rid of waste products through the same process,” the doctor explained. “However, after the second week, the cell mass is big enough that the embryo cannot now just survive using the diffusion mechanism.”
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He said the embryo needs a vascular system and circulation to survive even at this early stage, so the heart has to be developed.
Syed is the founder and CEO of DrBeen, which provides lectures and training to medical professionals about new technology. He also is a medical doctor and software engineer, and helped develop a portable 3D ultrasound system.
Although the science about human heart development is clear and has been for decades, abortion activists, politicians and mainstream news outlets recently began calling it into question as states began passing heartbeat laws to protect unborn babies from abortion.
Last week, a video surfaced of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claiming an unborn baby’s heartbeat is a “manufactured sound” created to control women.
The science is well established that the heart is the first organ to develop in a human being, and an unborn baby’s heart begins to beat within the first few weeks after conception.
Secular Pro-Life recently compiled a list of quotes from textbooks, scientific journals and other expert sources that confirm an unborn baby’s heart begins to beat as early as 22 days gestation.
For example, a pregnancy outline on the Mayo Clinic website states “the heart and other organs also are starting to form and the heart begins to beat” by about four weeks after conception.
And a study several years ago by the University of Oxford and the British Heart Foundation suggests that the human heart may begin beating as early as 16 days after conception.
“The heart is the first organ to form during pregnancy and is critical in providing oxygen and nutrients to the developing embryo,” the university researchers wrote.
Many doctors, scientists, textbooks and other expert sources also have been responding to Abrams’ false claim by confirming that an unborn baby does have a beating heart by six weeks of pregnancy, if not sooner.