August 27, 2008

When Does Human Life Begin

Set aside the religious question raised by certain Democrat politicians who claim to be good Catholics (and I do wish that their respective bishops would excommunicate Biden and Pelosi after their recent statements, just to clarify the matter), let's consider it from a strictly scientific perspective.

And fortunately, the scientific evidence is pretty clear on the matter.

In his new book, "Embryo," [Professor Robert] George and co-author Christopher Tollefsen, associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina, left religion behind and set out to establish the embryo's personhood by reviewing all the major scientific works on human embryogenesis and early intrauterine development.

Included was American medicine's most prominent human embryology text, "The Developing Human," whose authors are not imprecise on the matter of life: "Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell -- a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

In other words, human life begins at conception. That is not a religious posture, but a scientific fact that the lowest paid laborer on the planet can assert without qualm. What we do with that understanding is another matter, but no one in the 21st century should pretend not to know when human life begins.

Let's take deconstruct that for those at lower pay grades.

  1. Sperm meet egg.
  2. Zygote of species is created.
  3. Said zygote is alive, and human, ergo constitutes human life.
  4. There is no stage after that point at which the zygote/embryo/fetus can be legitimately argued to not be human until the cessation of biological functioning.

Now, that leaves those who support abortion in an interesting quandary, since they cannot argue that science does not establish the beginning of human life. They must either argue, as do Pelosi and Biden, that theology trumps biology in determining when human life begins (which would constitute a big First Amendment no-no) OR argue that the life question is irrelevant and that certain members of our species are subhuman and therefore merit no protection under law (Paging Adolf Hitler!).

But then again, Barack Obama's actions while in the Illinois Senate demonstrate that he takes the latter view -- and even extends it to include newborn infants who survive an assault in the womb at the hands of the abortionist. Sadly, he lacks the integrity to admit that this is his position, even though the record is unambiguous in that regard.


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Thank you so much for this.  A few years ago, having been pro-choice for many years, I remembered something that happened in my ninth grade biology class.  A girl in that class, Jan, was known to be quite religious, but not freaky about it (this was the time of "Jesus freaks"), took part in a discussion about abortion.  This was pre-Roe, so I have no idea how we got on this subject and I'm surprised the teacher let it go on, but Jan said, "The cells respire, they take in nutrition, and they excrete waste.  This means they are alive." 

What Jan said came back to me five or so years ago and I realized that all the wishing in the world could not make what she said untrue.  After that, there was no way to dodge that a zygote containing human DNA is a human life.  And so I am pro-life.

Until abortion advocates admit that they are in favor of taking human life, it is not possible to have a meaningful conversation with them.  If they would simply admit they are in favor of killing, I could at least respect them for being honest.  As it is, they engage in endless sophistry to avoid the main point and gain for themselves no respect at all.

|| Posted by Carol, September 4, 2008 07:43 PM ||

Imagine one day you are at the local clinic. The fire alarm is going off, and it seems like everyone has already gotten out. You see a large locked cooler that says human embryos on it. You think to yourself, “There could be thousands of embryos inside. This refrigerator could hold the hopes and dreams of hundreds of infertile couples. I could take this out with me.” You find a cart and are about to move it when you hear something. You look around and see a lady in a wheelchair. The room is now quickly filling with smoke and you are on the second floor. Now the lady in the wheelchair is calling to you, “Help me, I can’t get down the steps. Please help me.” The fire has started to engulf the room and you need to get out of the burning building NOW. You can not save the lady and the embryos, only one, after all you’re only human. So what would you do?

I think that even though an embryo is a valuable life like being, it is still not as important, as sacred, as a living breathing human life.

I think that not doing stem cell research is much the same as leaving a person in a burning building to die while saving embryos. Only God knows how many people have been left to die because our government has done very little embryonic stem cell research.

|| Posted by Holly, October 11, 2008 10:22 PM ||
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