When Life Begins; Scientifically Speaking

I ran across a great article on the scientific evidence for the beginning of life.  Keeping these things in mind might help us stop deluding ourselves that abortion isn’t killing a human being.

In 1997, Faye Wattleton, the president of Planned Parenthood said:

“I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.”

In his book A Defense Against Abortion, David Noonin admitted:

“In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.”

Don’t you see?  Even among abortion supporters, their argument isn’t that abortion is not killing therefore it’s morally defensible, their argument is that abortion is the killing of a distinct human being but it’s morally defensible anyway.

Their admittance that abortion is killing is supported by the biological consensus on when life begins. 

Speaking of the zygote, Keith Moore says:

“This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

and . . .

“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

Ronan O’Rahilly says:

“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

Clark Edwards Corliss says:

“It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

J.P Greenhill and E.A. Friedman wrote:

“The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

“The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

E.L Potter and J.M Craig proclaimed:

“Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

In 2005, National Geographic explained:

“The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

A Scientific Consensus

I could go on with the quotes for a bit longer, but I think you get the idea.  That a distinct, never to be repeated, human life begins at conception is a biological, scientific consensus.  Regardless of the arguments after this point, isn’t abortion still killing?  No matter what you say?

And, if abortion is the planned killing of a distinct human life, is that not the legal definition of murder?  Don’t get crazy, I’m just asking a question.

So can we now, at the very least, stop deluding ourselves about what abortion is?  Can we at least start the argument at the scientific consensus?

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3 Comments on “When Life Begins; Scientifically Speaking”

  1. hetty4christ Says:

    AMEN…abortion is very much-at any week or month murder. Do I feel for the empty hearted and broken who go thru it in tragic cases…not selfish? I do-I had a sister in law that did-and has mentally affected her for life…and she isn’t even a follower of Jesus. Whether you are or not-it will psychologically eat you up forever…adoption is there for reasons…for ones like me-who can’t have anymore children due to medical reasons, to take in with love. God has plans for us-knows us before we are born! Knew every hair on our head…
    Same time-thru Christ He forgives when we turn to Him. Is that birth control NOT AT ALL! But is an amazing feeling…that question has ben brought up by new believers every year at my church-wondering if they’d ever be loved by Jesus…He sure does!
    How everyone confuses when a baby, a zygote whatever we call this scientifically-is true-real and alive. Do they ever look at themselves and think what it would have been like had that happened to them? Would they miss anything..bet most would.
    Blessings to you..you are so in depth-beyond my comprehension..going on a third brain surgery…so your words fly over me-except this topic!

    In His Grip,

    Hetty Siebens
    http://www.twitter.com/hetty4christ
    http://www.hiswill4me.blogspot.com

  2. Neil Says:

    Yes, technically it is murder. This should be the lead argument for pro-life reasoning. Sadly, the “we only trust what we know from science” crowd gets all philosophical when it comes to abortion and starts in with fuzzy “personhood” arguments. Those fail as well, but are irrelevant. Abortion kills an innocent human being.

  3. Neil Says:

    Oh, and I have lots of compassion for those who had abortions. I’m on the board of a CareNet Pregnancy Center. One of the important services we offer is post-abortion trauma counselng. There is forgiveness, hope and healing available in Jesus. Abortion is a serious sin with extreme consequences, but it isn’t unforgivable.


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