Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Scientific Case Against Abortion

Recently, over at the LTI-Blog, the team critiqued an RHReality Check video that, in part, claimed that "there is no actual scientific moment at which life begins." Really?

Instead of listening to empty assertions about science, let's just look at ... oh, I don't know ... what the scientists trained in these areas actually have to say about it:
  • "[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." (The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), pp. 2-18)
  • "It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."(Human Embryology, 3rd ed. Bradley M. Patten, (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), 43.)
  • The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life." (Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, (Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders, 1974), p. 17)
  • "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." (Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3d ed. E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, (Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975), p. vii)
  • Prior to his acceptance of unrestricted abortion on demand, Planned Parenthood’s former president Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would not know this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge.” (Life in the Making, Viking Press, 1933.)
  • Dr. Landrum Shettles, the first scientist to successfully achieve fertilization in a test-tube, writes that, "Fertilization confers and defines life."
  • Prominent feminist Naomi Wolf, in an article for the New Republic, said to her fellow pro-choice advocates: "Clinging to rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions." ("Our Bodies, Our Souls,” New Republic, Oct. 16 1995)
  • Psychologist and pro-choice advocate Magda Denes wrote, "I do think abortion is murder – of a very special and necessary sort. And no physician ever involved with the procedure ever kids himself about that." (“The Question of Abortion” Commentary 62, December 1976)
There are more, but the point is this: Scientists know exactly when life begins. If you are ever challenged with the old canard, "No one really knows when life begins," please do not let it pass without a firm rebuttal. Your average person may not realize it but the abortion choice crowd certainly does (especially those like the young lady who appears in the RHReality video linked above): This is nothing but a smokescreen meant to avoid the issue. This is not the opinion of the pro-life advocate and it certainly is not a claim from the Bible. This what doctors are taught in their embryology text books.

Scientifically, the embryo is a unique, distinct, whole human being from the moment of conception. Where the abortion choicers have learned to shade the issue is not in the scientific debate, it is in the philosophical debate about the difference between a human being and a human person.

More on that issue next time ...

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