It is quite common for those on the Left to insult those on the Right by calling them “anti-science” or insisting that their views are “out of date” and “old school.” From those insults, one would assume that those making them would hold views that are in line with science and “up to date.” After all, those on the Left call themselves “progressives” and claim to stand up for human rights. Unfortunately, for them, the very insults and claims that the Left throws at others are true of themselves. I would like to look at one issue in particular where those on the Left are realistically and scientifically out of touch. This would be the issue of abortion
I have had countless debates with those on the Left over the past decade on the issue of abortion and the question of when life begins. Unlike the stereotypical “religious, Bible-thumping Pro-Lifers” that the media likes to portray all who oppose abortion, I have found that the majority of the National Pro-Life organizations base their beliefs on when life begins on science rather than religion. When I was in college, I led my university’s Pro- Life group for three years. During that time, I was contacted by a reporter from the BBC. They had heard about our group and wanted to hear our views. They were astonished that our beliefs on the beginning of life were based on science. The reporter told me that she had only heard religious objections to abortion. She said she wanted to hear our perspective, but only if we came to the state capitol and joined in with religious protesters. Needless to say, I declined the offer, knowing all too well how they would try to spin the story.
President and founder of Life Training Institute, Scott Klusendorf asserts that
“The science of embryology is clear. From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Therefore, every “successful” abortion ends the life of a living human being… the unborn is distinct in the fact that it is different in kind from any cell of its parents. It has its own unique and separate DNA from the parents. It is living because it exhibits irritability (reaction to stimuli), metabolism, and cellular regeneration. It is whole in the fact that it is not simply part of an organism; its cells work together in tandem toward the growth of a single entity, just like an adult human does.”
Leading embryology textbooks confirm that life begins at conception
“Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell – a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual…The zygote, formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.” – Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology
“The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give the rise to a new organism, the zygote.” – Langman’s Embryology
“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization 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.” – Human Embryology and Teratology
“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.” – National Geographic (In The Womb)
Scientists confirm the findings that life begins at conception
“These facts are stubborn; there is no running away from them…Human embryos are not creatures different in kind from human beings (like rocks, or potatoes, or alligators). They are, rather, human beings – distinct living members of the species Homo Sapiens – at the earliest stage of their natural development. They differ from human beings at later developmental stages not in virtue of the kind of entity they are, but rather by degree of development” –Dr. Robert P. George (McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University
“It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception” –Prof. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard University Medical School)
“After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” – Dr. Jerome LeJeune (Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes)
“By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” – Hymie Gordon (Mayo Clinic)
“The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.” –Dr. Watson A. Bowes (University of Colorado Medical School)
“Physicians have now arrived at the unanimous opinion that the foetus in utero is alive from the very moment of conception…..The willful killing of a human being at any stage of its existence is murder” –Dr. Horatio Storer (Founder of the Gynecological Society of Boston)
Furthermore, in 1981, the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee Report (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S- 158) concluded:
“Physicians, biologist, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the Human Species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”
This is just an abbreviated list, but as you can see, the evidence that life begins at conception is overwhelming. It is something that can be empirically proven and tested again and again. President Ronald Reagan knew this. He was originally Pro-Abortion as governor of California, but as President he was Pro-Life. I highly recommend reading his essay “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” President Barrack Obama claimed that the answer to the question of when life began was above his pay grade. This is not a difficult concept of science or theory. It is a proven scientific fact that has been known for a long time. A high school student with a biology textbook could tell you the answer to that question. The only reason anyone would have to deny this scientific fact is if they had something to gain from it being false. As I stated previously, the media does not tell you this part of the debate, it goes against their narrative of Pro-Life advocates being religious nut jobs. Even the AP Stylebook, which is used by many journalists as the standard for writing, has a biased view. The stylebook instructs writers to use “anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion-rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.” As well as telling them to “avoid” using the word “abortionist.”
America has been sold on the lie that life does not begin at conception and that the unborn, or preborn, are not living human beings. The media bought and broadcasts the lie, politicians and judges bought and legislate the lie, and saddest of all, many doctors have bought the lie. I talked to the woman who was the first abortionist in the state of Mississippi. She was a simple OBGYN in the late sixties when a group of pastors and clergymen approached her about doing abortions as a side business. This was before abortion on demand became legal. She said that she made extra money doing abortions for several years. Her conscience got the better of her, and she finally stopped performing abortions. Even though she initially bought the lie and practiced abortion for over a decade, she finally abandoned the lie and has been a Pro- Life advocate ever since.
This lie that goes against empirically proven scientific fact is very much like the lie that slave owners and slave traders sold to people or the lie that the Nazi Party sold to the Germans, or that the Belgians sold to the Rwandans. The lie is that one group of human beings is less valuable than another. Every single time that lie has been spread and largely accepted, injustice and death quickly follow.
It is time that those on the left stop denying science and stop living in the past. We live in an age of advanced medical wonders and many of those wonders, such as ultrasound, help to prove those on the Left wrong every day.
- The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture by Scott Klusendorf
- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud
- Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud
- Langman’s Embryology by T.W. Sadler
- Ministers For Life by Nick Bell