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Defending life from the moment of conception

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There isn't a debate - life begins at conception

Posted by Paul Smeaton on 13 March 2012

Human life begins at the moment when a man's sperm enters a woman's ovum. The 23 chromosomes in the sperm join the 23 chromosomes in the ovum to make a genetically unique human being with 46 chromosomes. At this moment of conception our genetic make-up is complete.

There has never been a human with the same genetic code. There will never be a human with the same genetic code. The baby has its own unique genetic code, which is neither the mother's nor the father's.

Her (or his) genetic make-up is established at conception, determining her unique individual physical characteristics, these include:

  • gender
  • eye colour
  • bone structure
  • hair colour
  • skin colour
  • susceptibility to certain diseases

This is not controversial, or disputable, this is scientific fact. It is not an unproven theory, it is proven fact. Here are a few of the scientific sources that testify to this:

  • England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996
  • Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988
  • Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997
  • Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993

There are many more. You can read the quotes from each of the above mentioned sources and others on the Princeton University website.

Question: When does human life begin?

Answer: Conception.

Next question?

Youth Defence, the youth-led, Irish pro-life group have reminded the Irish public of this through a simple and powerful billboard campaign.

Human beings may look very different at different stages of development, but at every stage of their development they look exactly as they are supposed to look at that moment.

Those in the abortion lobby know this. But often they will try to camouflage the humanity of the baby in the womb by insisting on using the scientific term appropriate for human beings at their various stages of development: for example zygote, embryo and fetus. More properly we should say human embryo, human zygote, human fetus - or we could keep things simple and use the word to describe what we want to describe and what the unborn child is - a baby.

All animals exist at some stage as zygotes, embryos and fetuses. But these unfamiliar, scientific names are used by the abortion lobby and the media to belittle and undermine the humanity of the unborn child. The message that they want ordinary people to believe is that the unborn child is just an inanimate, non-human 'clump of cells'.

The unborn child in the womb is not a potential life, but a life with potential. It is no more simply a clump of cells than a newborn child, a teenager or a grown up - or to use a technical, scientific term a 'developed human biological organism'. I think we're all happier sticking to 'boy', 'girl', 'man', 'woman' - and 'baby'.

Any negative distinction about the worth of human beings because of their stage of development is entirely arbitrary, and when abortion is the result of those distinctions that is the cruellest form of discrimination.

When a child is wanted it is always described as a baby. No pregnant mother preparing for childbirth says that she is carrying at a fetus, but mothers who are considering abortion and carrying children at the same or a later stage than those not considering abortion are encouraged to use names that have the effect of dehumanizing their baby.

On many occasions people have told me that the unborn child isn't a baby, it's a fetus. But those same people often don't even know what the word 'fetus' means. Often those people don't know much about a baby's development in the womb either. Fetus is simply a Latin word for 'unborn baby' or 'little one'. When people tell you that the unborn baby isn't a human because it's a fetus you should challenge them.

Ask them: "Do you know what that word means? Do you know that we are all genetically complete and that we all existed from the moment of conception? Do you know that most abortions are performed on a baby with a beating heart, with all their major organs present, with eyes and ears, with a nose and with a brain whose activity can be scientifically recorded? Do you know how abortions are performed and what they do to the baby, the mother and to the abortionist themselves?"

In the project 'Perspectives on Abortion' Live Action's Ana Banderas shows the inconsistencies in the thinking of many people who would identify themselves as pro-choice/pro-abortion. The videos from that project are well worth watching.

I will be writing more about this and taking a look at some of the things that people with pro-choice/pro-abortion views say in response to the reality that life begins at conception and that abortion is the murder of a baby. The video below powerfully makes many of the points I have made in this post. Please share it with your friends and contacts.

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