Secular Pro-Life and a coalition of national pro-life groups have embarked on a unique project to highlight the humanity of the child in the womb and educate the public about prenatal development.
Thousands of unique, unrepeatable babies have been conceived today and are due to be born around Christmas. We’ve named one of them Chris. Every Monday for the next nine months, we will update you on Baby Chris’s progress. You can follow along by downloading the See Baby Pregnancy Guide app. Use the hashtag #BabyChris and check out BabyChris.org
for additional resources.
In addition to Secular Pro-Life, participating organizations include Anglicans for Life, Brimstone Services, Care Net, Center for Bioethical Reform, Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life, Children First Foundation, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, Expectant Mother Care-EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Center, Human Life Alliance, Human Life International, Issues4Life Foundation, Arizona Right to Life, The Justice Foundation, Life Chain Florida, Life Issues Institute, The Moral Outcry, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), National Pro-life Religious Council, One More Soul, Operation Outcry, Presbyterians Protecting Life, Priests for Life, Pro-Life Action Ministries, Red Rose Rescue, Students for Life of America, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Susan B. Anthony List, and Unborn.com.
DAY ONE: Developmental Milestones
The life of Baby Chris has begun! You, me, and every person you’ve ever met: we all began life as a single cell
, when egg and sperm combined in the process known as fertilization
. The correct developmental term for this new individual organism is “human zygote.”
Baby Chris is just one cell big today—about 4/1000ths of an inch long—but will grow very quickly over the next nine months. Genetic traits from eye color to double-jointedness are already determined. Chromosomal sex (typically XX for females and XY for males) is also established at fertilization; however, the expression of Chris’s sexual traits may also be influenced by other genes and by exposure to hormones later in pregnancy.
Note that although Baby Chris has been alive for less than a day, he or she is considered two weeks old under the “LMP” (last menstrual period) method of pregnancy dating. The LMP system has some usefulness in a clinical context, where the exact date of conception can be hard to pinpoint, but for this project will we use the more accurate approach of measuring weeks from fertilization.