October is observed as Respect Life Month in the Catholic Church. We at Care Net are comprised of people from across denominational lines — Catholics and Protestants, evangelicals and charismatics and those from non-denominational churches. Yet we hold in common our love for Jesus and our respect for the value of all human life.
We set aside October to intentionally Respect Life. But every day all year long, each of us can uphold the sanctity of each life. We value every human life because every human being is created in the image of our loving God and creator. We will respect life, protect vulnerable lives and pray for the mothers and fathers who are making pregnancy decisions.
The wonder of life, how God has formed each one of us, is truly awe-inspiring. You and I – and every person, born or unborn, – are “wonderfully made.” Here are just a few of the wonderful ways that God knits each person together in his mother’s womb:
- Conception is the beginning of a unique and living member of the human species. On day 1, when conception occurs, the DNA blueprint for that new human is determined. Nothing will be added or taken away from that blueprint for the life-span of that individual. Eye color, hair color and even the details of his or her fingerprints are established from the moment the egg and sperm unite.
The embryo’s heart begins to beat just 21 days after fertilization, or 5 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period (LMP) began.
- At 8 weeks after the mother’s LMP, the embryo is about ½” long. Fingers and toes begin to form. Fingerprints follow a week later. The brain and nervous system begin to develop.
- A fetus hiccups and yawns at 52 days after conception.
- Beginning at 11 weeks, the fetus will grow rapidly for several weeks. His or her body will increase in weight 30 times and triple in length!
- At 24 weeks, the baby recognizes his or her mother’s voice, breathing and heartbeat.
- At 27 weeks, approximately 87% of babies born survive.
- At 28 weeks, fetal brainwave activity features sleep cycles, including REM (the stage when dreaming occurs).
- The placenta and umbilical cord separate the mother from the baby. The placenta and umbilical cord exist because the baby has a different and entirely separate circulatory system from the mother and their blood must not intermingle. “If something happens, such as a traumatic injury, that causes their blood to mix, it can cause serious complications.”
The more we learn about how wonderfully each person is made, the more fascinating it is. All human life is due great respect and should be treated with care and compassion.
Wondering how you can take action to live out your respect for life not just in October, but every day?
- Pray: Pray for women and men making pregnancy decisions. Pray for an end to abortion. Pray for our staff and the staff of other pregnancy centers who are on the front lines serving those facing unintended pregnancies. Join our prayer team for updated prayer ideas and praises every other week.
- Be an Ambassador: Share about Care Net with your pastor, priest, social justice committee or missions team. Ask about having a Care Net speaker share at your church.
- Volunteer: Whatever your skills and expertise, there is a place for you to serve at Care Net. Come to a Care Net 101 to find out how you could use your unique gifts and talents to make a difference for life.
- Give: Your gift will save and change lives.
- Your gift of $104 will provide a pregnancy test, ultrasound and a consultation for a patient. Your gift of $104 could save a life today!
- Provide an ultrasound for $55. Your gift can provide an opportunity for an expectant mother to see the life growing inside her!
- $25 can provide a resource consultation appointment. Your gift allows us to meet with moms and dads to help them identify resources they need.
Thank you for respecting life today and every day!