I recently attended a meeting on campus which dealt with the issue of abortion. It consisted of four panelists – a physician, a philosopher, a feminist and an activist. They each gave their own views of abortion, ranging from pro-life to pro-choice. Each had their own political and philosophical views pertaining to their beliefs and pertaining to what could lead a female to consider abortion.

One of the issues that stood out for me was the philosopher’s view of embryos. He held an interesting debate on whether human embryos were actually people. He compared human embryos to animal embryos and said that neither was distinguishable from the other at that stage.

I thought about what he said and how I felt about it. I looked up in the dictionary and thesaurus three words – fetus, person and animal. Upon looking in those books I came up with these brief definitions.

Fetus – an embryo, an unborn mammalian offspring, especially a human embryo of eight weeks or more. Animal – living organism, moving thing, usually other than man, that feeds and usually has sense organs and a nervous system and can move quickly. Person – individual human being, a human body.

With these definitions in mind, I began to compare animal embryos to human embryos. Obviously, both animals and humans are different creatures altogether. However, all living things begin as embryos with the potential for life until their final birth. Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, human beings have the ability of speech, language and communication. They also have the ability to shape, mold and sometimes create their own environment. Whether this came from an evolutionary phase or not, such is the case.

As far as embryos are concerned, there is a distinct difference there as well. Aside from the fact that they are both embryos with the potential for life, they are two distinct embryos altogether. A human host can’t carry a frog or a cow embryo and an animal host, be it a giraffe or a zebra, can’t carry a human embryo.

The sizes, shapes, brains and processes of development are way too different and varied to host other than its proper component. An embryo will only manifest to be what nature intended it to be. In other words, human and animal embryos are similar, but upon conception and development, they can only mature into what nature intends and dictates.

As far as the issue of abortion is concerned, it is up to the individual whether they choose to allow conception or not. If they feel that, for whatever reason, they are unable to carry the burden of parenthood, so be it. Or if they feel that the potential for life is great or can be beneficial in the short or long terms, then so be it as well.

All embryos have the potential for human life. While not quite developed, it is still an organism given by the creator for the host to do as they will. Anything that pertains to that situation is between them and the creator of the universe. In the natural world, and in the animal kingdom, what do you think that the host would do with an embryo growing inside of them?

Jackson can be reached at jjackson@campustimes.org.

Time unfortunately still a circle

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humanity’s been blessed with one terrible curse: the realization that all things are, in fact, cyclical.

Riseup with Riseman

“I decided to make one for fun — really poor quality — and I put it on my Instagram just to see how people would react," Riseman said.

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.