For over 2,000 years, Jews have believed that life begins at birth, not at conception. In the first 40 days, the fetus is considered just fluid, it is not a "nefesh" — a human being. A passage in the Bible (Exodus 21: 22-23) says that if a pregnant woman is injured and miscarries, the person responsible for the miscarriage must pay financial compensation for the loss of the fetus. But this fine is not equal to the penalty that would be imposed for murder since the fetus is not yet alive. The Catholic Church says the commandment — "thou shalt not kill" — applies to a fetus; Jews say it does not.