The Scientific American recently published the following article, Social Before Birth: Twins First Interact with Each Other as Fetuses. Here’s a snippet:
As published in the October PLoS ONE, the scientists found that fetuses begin reaching toward their neighbors by the 14th week of gestation. Over the following weeks they reduced the number of movements toward themselves and instead reached more frequently toward their counterparts.
By the 18th week they spent more time contacting their partners than themselves or the walls of the uterus. Almost 30 percent of their movements were directed toward their prenatal companions. These movements, such as stroking the head or back, lasted longer and were more accurate than self-directed actions, such as touching their own eyes or mouth.
The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways.
I find this fascinating. From within the womb twins not only notice one another, they seem to recognize one another and seek out contact with the other over themselves. And from very early on in development.
One might almost conclude that they were already alive. Cognizant. Socially interactive. Human.
It makes one wonder how a civilized society can sanction their death as morally acceptable. As if these tiny humans have fewer rights than you or me just because they are so frail and vulnerable. Like they are less human for being so small and dependent.
What does that say about us as a society? What does it say about us as Christians?
If this is how we treat the most vulnerable among us, how can we claim to have the love of God?