In any case or in any month we can always say that human life beings at conception as an objective fact. My blog partner Joe recently sent me this link from Lifenews.com about 41 quotes from the medical profession that prove human life begins at conception. Here are a few of my faves:
- “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.” Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012)
- An embryology textbook describes how birth is just an event in the development of a baby, not the beginning of his/her life. “It should always be remembered that many organs are still not completely developed by full-term and birth should be regarded only as an incident in the whole developmental process.” F Beck Human Embryology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985 page vi
- “Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment.” The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology fifth edition, Moore and Persaud, 1993, Saunders Company, page 1
- National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (2013), http://www.merriamwebster.com/medlineplus/fertilization. The government’s own definition attests to the fact that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, “fertilization” is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) “whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.”
- “….it is scientifically correct to say that human life begins at conception.” Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard Medical School: Quoted by Public Affairs Council
- Scarr, S., Weinberg, R.A., and Levine A., Understanding Development, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1986. page 86 “The development of a new human being begins when a male’s sperm pierces the cell membrane of a female’s ovum, or egg….
- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18: “[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
Sounds pretty clear, but what do people who write medical text books know about anything anyway? From here the discussion may often turn to “personhood”. The unborn “entity” may be human, but it is not a person. I remember someone telling me that life begins when you’re born. I asked, “If your son was born yesterday at 1:00PM, what made him not a human being or not a person at 12:59PM? What would be the distinction other than time and/or the surrounding environment?” He could offer no clear answer because he was simply making-up a threshold of his own liking.
As the Lifenews article shows, it is scientifically correct to say that human life begins at conception. To say the first stage of one’s life or one’s “personhood” begins at some other threshold of consciousness or viability is subjective; a matter of opinion. To declare something as important as this on something subjective is irrational when something objective is clearly available. In fact, irrationality is not a strong enough expression; it’s more like an invincible blindness.
|Sorry, I can't see your personhood.|