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Pioneer Therapy Awakening Persistently Unconscious Patient

NRL News Today

 September 26, 2017   PVS

Persistently unconscious patient awakened after receiving pioneering therapy

By Wesley Smith

On the right, the warmer colours indicate an increase in connectivity following vagus nerve stimulation among brain regions responsible for planned movements, spatial reasoning and attention. Illustration: Corazzol et al.

On the right, the warmer colours indicate an increase in connectivity following vagus nerve stimulation among brain regions responsible for planned movements, spatial reasoning and attention.
Illustration: Corazzol et al.

Ever since Terri Schiavo, writing about the wrongness of removing feeding tubes from patients diagnosed with persistent unconsciousness (PVS)–we should never call them “vegetables,” a term as denigrating and dehumanizing a racial epithet–is like spitting in the wind.

But, what the heck.

As mentioned above, such patients are often dehydrated to death by having their feeding tubes removed, which takes up to two weeks.

Never mind that some 40% of such diagnoses are erroneous.

Never mind that some of these people may feel the agony of not eating or drinking if so misdiagnosed. Bioethics and law treat artificial nutrition and hydration as a medical treatment, and any medical treatment can be refused or withdrawn.

But what if scientists found a way to awaken such patients? That may be on the way after an unconscious patients seems to have been roused through nerve stimulation. From the Guardian story:

A 35-year-old man who had been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years has shown signs of consciousness after receiving a pioneering therapy involving nerve stimulation. The treatment challenges a widely-accepted view that there is no prospect of a patient recovering consciousness if they have been in PVS for longer than 12 months. Since sustaining severe brain injuries in a car accident, the man had been completely unaware of the world around him.

But when fitted with an implant to stimulate the vagus nerve, which travels into the brain stem, the man appeared to flicker back into a state of consciousness. He started to track objects with his eyes, began to stay awake while being read a story and his eyes opened wide in surprise when the examiner suddenly moved her face close to the patient’s. He could even respond to some simple requests, such as turning his head when asked – although this took about a minute.

This should be good news that should cause us to pause in removing feeding tubes from the unconscious as this research proceeds. Some bioethicists even want such removals to become the standard of care, say after two years.

But I can hear the bioethicists now–because I have read their advocacy: It is more urgent to remove the feeding tubes from the minimally conscious because they may be in horror at their impaired condition or otherwise suffering.

And, in fact, people with minimal awareness are legally dehydrated in all fifty states.

Except–a study of patients in a locked-in state–the appearance of complete unconsciousness but actually aware–shows that most are “happy,” and majorities would not want euthanasia. (Scientists can now communicate with such patients.)

So, as this research proceeds, let’s care for these seriously disabled patients–both apparently unconscious and conscious–as full and equal members of the moral community, and think twice before removing sustaining treatment that can only have one result; a protracted and perhaps, painful death.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great blog appears at National Review Online and is reposted with permission.


Fight to Save Charlie Gard’s Life Has Ended


Charlie Gard’s Parents End Their Fight to Save His Life, Say It’s Too Late for Experimental Treatment


Steven Ertelt   Jul 24, 2017   |   9:57AM    Washington, DC

The parents of the little boy Charlie Gard, who had been fighting a hospital to save his life say they are ending their legal battle to get him an experimental treatment.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates wanted to take their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1.5 million for his care. His parents said they know the chance of the experimental treatment working is slim, but they want to try anyway for Charlie’s sake.

But today, Charlie’s parents announced their decision at a hearing today at the British High Court. They made their announcement as a judge was prepared to oversee the latest round of a legal battle that a stressed over the last five months.

A lawyer representing the couple told Justice Francis that “time had run out.” The attorney for the family said that irreparable damage had already been done.

Grant Armstrong said: “This case is now about time. Sadly time has run out. For Charlie it is too late. The damage has been done.”

The decision means that the 11-month-old will stay in Britain and will have his life support removed.

Here’s more:

The parents said they would discuss with the judge and other authorities about how the baby will be allowed to die. Armstrong said the news had left Charlie’s parents extremely distressed and they now “wish to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie.”

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The decision comes after experts from around the world met with each other and with the parents, to explore the possibilities for Charlie’s treatment. The results of those tests appear to be so devastating that the parents have agreed that the experimental treatment will no longer help.

Charlie has experienced significant muscular atrophy, for instance, as a result of his condition. While the treatment could potentially improve his condition – though doctors have said the chances are low – it would not be able to reverse those effects and so it is too late to pursue that route, the family has agreed.

Charlie’s parents said through their lawyer in court that they hope that the case can change the way medical decisions are made in the future. It should be proof that if mitochondrial treatment is going to take place then doctors should begin as soon as they can, they said.

On Friday, Charlie Gard’s parents had enough and they stormed out of a courtroom after a lawyer for the hospital that is refusing to allow them to transfer Charlie to another country said that a new scan of Charlie’s brain is “sad reading.” The hospital made the scan available to the court before Charlie’s parents had a chance to view it.

Gard’s father yelled “evil” after a lawyer representing Great Ormond Street Hospital broke the news that a report on a new scan on Charlie made for “sad reading.” And Charlie’s mother burst into tears as attorney Katie Gollop told the judge that hospital officials had a negative view of the new scan.

Gollop told the judge that doctors had produced a report on the newest scan and said: “It makes for sad reading.” Then Charlie’s mom began to cry and said: “We haven’t even read it.”

Chris Gard yelled “evil” and added: “I’m not f****** listening to this biased s— anymore.”

The couple then stormed out of court and then the hospital attorney apologized.

Previously, U.S. Congressional leaders approved a measure to grant Charlie and his parents permanent residency status in an effort to make it easier for him to receive an experimental treatment. Pro-life Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, led the effort; her daughter also was diagnosed with a fatal condition but survived because of an experimental treatment.

Last week, Dr. Michio Hirano, MD, a Harvard-trained neurologist, examined Charlie this week to provide his opinion about experimental treatment. He previously said he thinks the 11-month-old has a chance of benefiting from the therapy.

Despite all of his problems, Charlie’s parents – and millions like them – believe that Charlie is a valuable, living human being who should be given a chance to live.

Leading pro-life advocates helped Charlie’s parents fight for his life.

Charlie’s parents brought Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler to London to help them fight for care for their son. Schindler spoke with LifeNews exclusively about their invitation.

Schindler told LifeNews: “We are here by invitation from the family to come alongside them as they struggle to save their son, Charlie. The critical issue here is not a political one, but the simple notion that families know what is best for their loved ones.”

“Charlie’s situation is very reminiscent of my family’s battle to save my sister, Terri. Hopefully being here can help his parents, Connie and Charlie, deal with the day-to-day emotional roller coaster, as they fight for their son’s right to live,” Schindler added.

Sadly, the battle to save Charlie has come to an end.


May’s Every Life Update

Image result for free cartoon May flowers

Friends for Life:


I love the month of May.


As a Catholic, it’s traditionally been known as “Mary’s month” to honor her “yes” in agreeing to be the mother of Jesus. Thus it’s a great month to honor all mothers who ‘give life’ to the world. It’s also spring time, so new life abounds all around us and of course we’re celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!


Reflecting on springtime Martin Luther once wrote, “everything in nature points to Resurrection.” So as there is new life abounding all around us in nature, let us see that new life as a sign of new hope for all of us and our weary souls. For in Christ there is indeed hope for restoration of our culture, there is indeed hope for new life in our nation, and in Christ there is indeed hope for Resurrection –  even in our own desperate souls!


In this hope I pray you might join me for three different opportunities to revel in the love of the Lord and hope for the restoration of culture.


  1. Thursday May 11th 6 pm – 8 pm “Vision Meeting”: Last year, I held the Respect Life Office’s first ever “Vision Meeting” at the Pastoral Center in Toledo. Priests, lay leaders and friends of the Pro-Life movement gathered and from the meeting we launched our pornography task force which will be hosting Matt Fradd this coming September. This year again I would like to get together to pray, seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and discuss this next year of the pro-life movement in Northwest Ohio. Instead of at the Pastoral Center, Laura and I would like to host you at our home, near Bowling Green Ohio. Please consider joining us and RSVP by emailing me at Catholic Charities at: or Sharon Marshall at If you can bring a dish to share please also indicate that in your RSVP to Sharon or myself. After you RSVP we’ll be sure to send you our address. Please consider joining us so we can seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance moving forward! Together, we will abolish abortion and restore culture.


  1. Saturday May 13th 3 pm – 7 pm “Culture Project Young Adult Gathering”: The Culture Project Missionaries have spent this past year sharing the love of Jesus Christ with our young people through presentations and visits regarding ‘human dignity’ and living with ‘sexual integrity.’ To thank them for their time Laura and I will be having a gathering with young adults at our home near Bowling Green on Saturday May 13th. Email me at to RSVP. We’ll play some sports and have a bonfire and thank God for the great work of the missionaries this past year.


If you would like to continue the work of the Culture Project in the Diocese of Toledo for next year we need your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Catholic Charities. You can donate here: or send a check to Catholic Charities c/o Peter Range at 1933 Spielbusch Ave., Toledo Ohio 43604. Make sure in either case to mark you would like your donation to go directly to the Culture Project. I’ve attached information on their work to date, as well as the financial breakdown of their organization.


  1. Wednesday May 31st 6:30 – 7:30 pm “Vigil for Life”: Join us on the sidewalk of Capital Care as we pray that one of the 15 children scheduled to be aborted that week will be spared! We’ll gather at Capital Care, 1160 West Sylvania Ave., Toledo on Wednesday May 31st at 6:30 p.m. We don’t have to sit idly by as children in our own community are aborted. Join us to peacefully witness to the dignity of human life!


Thank you for all you do to witness to the dignity of every human life! May God bless you and fill you with new hope that we will one day abolish abortion and restore culture!


For the Risen Lord!







Peter Range

Director of Office for Life and Justice

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo

1933 Spielbusch Ave.

Toledo, OH 43604

419-244-6711, ext. 4933

440-821-1533 (cell)



Urgent Action: Call Your Representative!

Ohio Right to Life

Friend —

Today the U.S. House is expected to vote on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017–legislation which will eliminate the abortion-subsidizing provisions of Obamacare and cut hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.

We are urging you to call your Representative TODAY to urge them to vote for H.R. 1628! Click here to find your Representative.

H.R. 1628 includes the following pro-life provisions:

1) prevents credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions
2) eliminates about 85% of federal Planned Parenthood funding for the next year
3) preserves non-taxed employer provided health plans and
4) postpones the “Cadillac tax” until 2026

As you know, Obamacare contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion and abortion-expanding regulatory mandates. A 2014 GAO report revealed that over 1,000 federally subsidized plans nationwide were covering elective abortion.

H.R. 1628 would repeal the provisions of law that created this system, and prohibit any future federal tax credits from subsidizing the purchase of plans that cover elective abortion, thereby restoring the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment with respect to federally funded health coverage.

Friend, this should be a TOP priority as the bill is likely to come up for a vote TODAY. Please call your Representative now, and help turn back the harmful mandates of Obamacare!

With you for Life,

Devin Scribner
Executive Director

P.S. Registration for Pro-life Legislative Day was originally set to close yesterday. Due to a massive outage experienced by our website service provider yesterday morning, we are extending the deadline to today, March 23. Register now to be a part of the statewide movement that is changing minds and saving lives!

Trump Calls Out Media For Failing To Report on March for Life

Breaking News!

BREAKING VIDEO: President Trump calls out mainstream media for failing to cover March for Life

By Claire Chretien

Trump called out the media for ignoring the March for Life: ‘What they do say is that the press doesn’t cover them.’


Breaking News!

BREAKING: White House confirms: VP Pence to speak at March for Life

By John-Henry Westen

Pence’s presence highlights what is expected to be an unprecedented turnout from a presidential administration.


Give the gift of truth. And help us build a culture of life.   Donate

“Mary Kills People” Trades Comforting Fantasy For The Reality of “Assisted Deaths”

NRL News Today

By Dave Andrusko

Caroline Dhavernas stars in the new Global TV show Mary Kills People. (CORUS ENTERTAINMENT)

Caroline Dhavernas stars in the new Global TV show Mary Kills People. (CORUS ENTERTAINMENT)

When anti-life forces talk about “normalizing” their agenda, a key component is persuading an already receptive entertainment industry to portray aborting children or “assisting” people to die in the most favorable possible light.

Enter “Mary Kills People”–and no, I am not making this up. It is a new series, debuting tomorrow on Global Television , about an “angel of mercy.” ( I didn’t know what Global TV is, either–it’s a “Canadian English-language broadcast television network.”)

If you read the snap summary on the Global TV site, it begins thusly:

Dr. Mary Harris has a secret – beneath the surface of being an ER doctor and loving mother, Mary is also Dr. Death, helping terminal patients end their lives. She and her partner Des have been operating covertly for almost six months but a series of unforeseen circumstances, beginning with the assisted death of superstar football player Troy Dixon (Adrian Holmes) goes wrong, conspire to tear Mary down.

(“Conspire to tear Mary down”? After she merely “assists” someone to die. How judgmental.) After that the usual soap opera storylines.

To get a feel for the series, go to the Facebook page for “Mary Kills People.” In a very short clip, you see Mary smoking a cigarette and then saying to no one in particular, “I really have to quit.” Some guy responds, “Killing people?”

To which Mary angrily answers, “No, smoking.” The man [sarcastically? Ironically? Apologetically?] responds, “Oh no, yeah, you’re right. Sure, it’s a filthy habit.”

I first ran across a mention of the show today at The Toronto Star where Bill Brioux gushes over how clever it all is.

Brioux tells us

The series is about a single mother, Mary Harris, who is an ER doctor by day, an angel of mercy by night. In her illegal side gig, Mary kills terminally ill patients she helps slip away on their own terms.

Of course all the deaths in this six-part series are sought by hospice patients, although the graphic that accompanies the promo doesn’t send that message at all. It is nothing short of menacing.

These stories (ala “Law and Order”) may be ripped from the headlines but if so, they didn’t read the stories. The (typically) nurses who are killing vulnerable patients offer the usual rationalizations but they are killing them not because they are “asked” but because of twisted, demented reasons of the killer’s own.

What fascinates Brioux begins with the origins of the series:

Tara Armstrong developed the idea for the series while still a student at the University of British Columbia.

“I don’t know why exactly, but I was always obsessed with death when I was younger, when I was a kid,” Armstrong said late last year while on location in Mississauga, Ont., with the cast and producers.

Armstrong was working on a writing degree at UBC and developed Mary Kills People in a creative non-fiction class. “I chose to go into a hospice and interviewed all the people who worked in there; it kind of came from that,” she says.

Does the choice of Dr. Harris’ first name mean anything?

The name “Mary” was a starting point. “I knew I wanted a biblical name,” says Armstrong.

Leave it to the death peddlers to cover their tracks with a “biblical name.”

Editor’s note. If you want to peruse stories all day long, go directly to and/or follow me on Twitter at Please send your comments to


Let’s March for Life!

praying hands clipart

Behold, I am doing a new thing;     

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19


Friends for Life:

I just returned from the Defiance March for Life where 200 plus of God’s faithful braved the cold and rain to march for the dignity of human life! Yesterday, I was in Port Clinton as 100+ gathered to also witness to the sanctity of life! I’ve also heard and seen great pictures of the crowds that gathered in Bascom, Lima, Mansfield, Maumee, Tiffin and Norwalk! Also, in just a few short days 10+ busses from the Diocese of Toledo will head down to March for Life in our nation’s capital (please keep us in prayer)! Our God is marching on and God’s people are rising up to march with him!

With all of this feet stomping, prayers and petitions on this Day Of Prayer For The Legal Protection Of Unborn Children ( we see good fruit being born as we learned the great news today that President Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funding from going towards foreign nonprofit organizations that promote or commit abortions (


There definitely is a “new thing” springing forth which I believe is pointing us to a ‘kairos’ moment in our nation’s history. Will you be a part of this movement? With your help – your time, talent and treasure we can abolish abortion and restore culture! Perhaps just start by joining the country in prayer for human life by visiting And remember, through our prayer and action let us always reach out in mercy to those who are wounded by this culture of death. In that spirit please spread the word about these two upcoming Project Rachel/Entering Canaan Retreats taking place for mothers who have experienced abortion this weekend and for fathers February 18th.


It’s also not too late to join some of the local marches – see the entire list attached as there are still a few more to come in the area! And as always we need more people – especially men to come and be a consistent prayer presence at the abortion facility in Toledo. Contact Bob Schoen at for more information.


Thanks for all you are doing for the pro-life cause! Let’s not stop now, let’s keep marching!!!


For the King!






Peter Range

Director of Office for Life and Justice

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo

1933 Spielbusch Ave.

Toledo, OH 43604

419-244-6711, ext. 4933

440-821-1533 (cell)


16 Top Pro-Life Moments of 2016

NRL News Today

 December 29, 2016   Pro-Lifers

Counting Down the 16 Top Pro-Life Moments of 2016

By Andrew Bair

1.The March for Life goes on in the face of historic DC blizzard: Despite many buses being forced to turn around to avoid the impending blizzard heading for the nation’s capital, there was still a strong and dedicated showing pro-life support on the streets of Washington for the 2016 March for Life. It’s clear that no amount of snow or bad weather can shake the commitment of the pro-life grassroots!

2. Four states enact a ban on dismemberment abortions: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia joined a growing number of states in banning the horrific dismemberment abortion method. These laws not only protect unborn babies but serve to educate the public about the brutality of abortion. Read more about dismemberment abortions.

3. Ohio, South Carolina, and South Dakota join 12 other states in passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: This important legislation extends legal protection to unborn children 20 weeks and older. Substantial medical and scientific evidence shows that by this stage, if not earlier, babies are capable of experiencing pain.

4.. Other state legislative victories included Oklahoma passing the pro-education Humanity of the Unborn Child Act, Georgia passing positive alternatives legislation, Indiana passing a ban on selective abortions based on sex or disability, and Louisiana increasing their waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours.

5. The 40th Anniversary of the Hyde Amendment: First enacted in 1976, the Hyde Amendment has saved an estimated 2 million lives from abortion. This annual appropriations amendment stops taxpayer dollars from being used to fund most abortions and abortion coverage through government programs like Medicaid.

6. Pro-Life candidates triumph in 2016 elections: Up and down the ballot, pro-life candidates scored impressive victories. Here is how National Right to Life fared in the 2016 elections:

7. Hillary Clinton forced to defend late abortions during presidential debate: During the final presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace brought up the topic of abortion. In a moment that was even cringe worthy for Democrats, Clinton reaffirmed her support for the partial-birth abortion method and abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy. By contrast, Trump said, “I am pro-life, and I will be appointing pro-life judges.”

8. Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List spend big and lose big in the 2016 elections: Millions upon millions of dollars were spent by the political arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider and by EMILY’s List, a radical pro-abortion PAC that only backs female Democrats who support abortion without limits. Planned Parenthood alone spent at least $38 million in the elections.

9. Pro-Life selections announced for key cabinet positions: The incoming Administration has announced the selection of several pro-life champions for key roles. These include Rep. Tom Price for HHS Secretary, Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, Gov. Nikki Haley for U.N. Ambassador, and Kellyanne Conway as Counselor to the President.

10. Doritos Super Bowl commercial highlights humanity of unborn children, provokes outrageous meltdown from abortion advocates: NARAL Pro-Choice America lost it on social media during the Super Bowl when a Doritos ad featured an unborn baby on an ultrasound. They trashed the ad for “humanizing fetuses,” further exposing how out of touch the pro-abortion movement really is.

11. U.S. House and Senate send filibuster-proof reconciliation bill to President Obama’s desk that would have defunded Planned Parenthood: Despite President Obama’s veto, the move set a precedent for advancing such a bill under a new president, without 60 votes in the U.S. Senate.

12. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the line and prevents the appointment of pro-abortion Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court: By holding off a Senate vote on Obama’s Supreme Court pick, McConnell injected the issue of the Supreme Court into the 2016 elections, an issue which helped mobilize many pro-life voters. Now, the vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia will be filled by someone chosen by the President-elect, who repeatedly promised to appoint someone who reflects Scalia’s judicial philosophy.

13. Pro-Life traitor Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-02) defeated in GOP Primary: There were many electoral triumphs for the pro-life movement in 2016 but the defeat of Rep. Renee Ellmers was particularly symbolic. In early 2015, Ellmers launched an extended public campaign against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Although the bill ultimately passed the House, the delay and damage inflicted by Rep. Ellmers diminished its chances in the Senate, where pro-abortion senators were able to organize a successful filibuster to prevent the ban from advancing despite the support of a majority of senators. “There is no member of Congress in recent memory who did greater harm to a major piece of pro-life legislation, while claiming to be pro-life, than Renee Ellmers,” said Douglas Johnson, Director of Federal Legislation for National Right to Life.

14. Latest CDC report shows a 5% decline in abortions nationwide: The latest numbers from the CDC are confirmation that America is moving, perhaps even accelerating, towards a culture more hospitable to unborn life. Read the report from NRLC’s Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon.

15. Pro-Life advocates shine light on the tragic legacy of Planned Parenthood on its 100th birthday: In 2016, Planned Parenthood celebrated 100 years since its founding. While it celebrated a birthday, there were millions unable to celebrate birthdays due to abortion.

16. House Select Panel on Infant Lives investigates harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts, highlights importance of protecting born-alive abortion survivors: Testifying before the panel in April, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, the prime sponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, hit the nail on the head when he noted, “Here, on this basic reality, we can and must find agreement: Babies are not the sum of their body parts. Babies are not meant to be bought. Babies are not meant to be sold. Babies are just that—babies. They’re meant to be welcomed and rejoiced over, held and nurtured.”


Black Friday Deal From Priests For Life

Black Friday Deal from Priests for Life
Pro-Life Product Bundle
November 23, 2016

Priests for Life is offering a life-saving and inspirational product bundle at a reduced price available now through Cyber Monday, November 28. Purchase the bundle for yourself to aid in your pro-life work or buy as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Order here…

Bundle contains the following products:

Proclaiming the Message of Life: In this book, Fr. Frank Pavone systematically guides clergy and laity alike through the pro-life themes found in the Sunday readings of all three cycles of the lectionary. Makes a great gift for a priest or deacon.

Little Star: In this touching retelling of the nativity story, best-selling author Anthony DeStefano has produced a modern Christmas classic for children.

Little Star Christmas ornament (limited supply)

Sharing Keys to Christmas CD: Father Denis Wilde, O.S.A., Associate Director of Priests for Life, has recorded this CD, a piano rendition of old favorites, carols and Christmas tunes to bring in the joy of the season of Advent and Christmas to heart and home, 11 medleys of selections familiar and beloved to all.

Pro-life Reflections For Every Day: This devotional by Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the “Spiritual Life” series that Catholic Book Publishing Company has produced for years. The book is 192 pages with a ribbon. In exchange for one minute a day, your spiritual life will be nourished throughout the day with pro-life vigor!

and a FREE autographed copy of Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It by Fr. Frank Pavone

A $70 value for only $50.00 including shipping & handling

Order here…

We offer various options for you to receive different emails from the different branches of our ministry. See how you can vary your preferences or unsubscribe. Remember, we want to keep you in the loop!

To contact us please email

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172  Staten Island, NY  10314

Activating the Church to end abortion

Month by Month – Fetal Development


Fetal Development – Month by Month

Jun 21, 2016
by CureJoy Editorial

The growth of your baby is a continuous process that often conveys a sense of awe. The following information is divided into pregnancy’s three trimesters to help you understand your baby’s rapid growth. Milestones in fetal development are also highlighted. (Sizes and weights are approximate.)

Fetal development – month 1

First trimester

At the end of four weeks:

  • Baby is 1/4 inch long.
  • Heart, digestive system, backbone and spinal cord begin to form.
  • Placenta (sometimes called “afterbirth”) begins to develop.
  • The single fertilized egg is now 10,000 times larger than it was at conception.


Fetal development – month 2

First trimester

At the end of 8 weeks:

  • Baby is 1-1/8 inches long.
  • Heart is functioning.
  • Eyes, nose, lips, tongue, ears and teeth are forming.
  • Penis begins to appear in boys.
  • Baby is moving, although the mother can not yet feel movement.


Fetal development – month 3

First trimester

At the end of 12 weeks:

  • Baby is 2-1/2 to 3 inches long.
  • Weight is about 1/2 to 1 ounce.
  • Baby develops recognizable form.
  • Nails start to develop and earlobes are formed.
  • Arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes are fully formed.
  • Eyes are almost fully developed.
  • Baby has developed most organs and tissues.
  • Baby’s heart rate can be heard at 10 weeks with a special instrument called a Doppler.


Fetal development – month 4

Second trimester

At the end of 4 months:

  • Baby is 6-1/2 to 7 inches long.
  • Weight is about 6 to 7 ounces.
  • Baby is developing reflexes, such as sucking and swallowing, and may begin sucking thumb.
  • Tooth buds are developing.
  • Sweat glands are forming on palms and soles.
  • Fingers and toes are well defined.
  • Gender is identifiable.
  • Skin is bright pink, transparent and covered with soft, downy hair.
  • Although recognizably human in appearance, the baby would not be able to survive outside the mother’s body.


Fetal development – month 5

Second trimester
At the end of 5 months:

  • Baby is 8 to 10 inches long.
  • Weight is about 1 pound.
  • Hair begins to grow on baby’s head.
  • Soft woolly hair called lanugo covers baby’s body. Some may remain until a week after birth when it is shed.
  • Mother begins to feel fetal movement.
  • Internal organs are maturing.
  • Eyebrows, eyelids and eyelashes appear.


Fetal development – month 6

Second trimester

At the end of 6 months:

  • Baby is 11 to 14 inches long.
  • Weight is about 1-3/4 to 2 pounds.
  • Eyelids begin to part and eyes open sometimes for short periods of time.
  • Skin is covered with protective coating called vernix.
  • Baby is able to hiccup.


Fetal development – month 7

Third trimester

At the end of 7 months:

  • Baby is 14 to 16 inches long.
  • Weight is about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds.
  • Taste buds have developed.
  • Fat layers are forming.
  • Organs are maturing.
  • Skin is still wrinkled and red.
  • If born at this time, the baby will be considered premature and require special care.


Fetal development – month 8

Third trimester

At the end of 8 months:

  • Baby is 16-1/2 to 18 inches long.
  • Weight is about 4 to 6 pounds.
  • Overall growth is rapid this month.
  • Tremendous brain growth occurs at this time.
  • Most body organs are now developed, except for the lungs.
  • Movements or “kicks” are strong enough to be visible from the outside.
  • Kidneys are mature.
  • Skin is less wrinkled.
  • Fingernails now extend beyond fingertips.


Fetal development – month 9

Third trimester

At the end of 9 months:

  • Baby is 19 to 20 inches long.
  • Weight is about 7 to 7-1/2 pounds.
  • The lungs are mature.
  • Baby is now fully developed and can survive outside the mother’s body.
  • Skin is pink and smooth.
  • The baby settles down lower in the abdomen to prepare for birth and may seem less active.