One of the statements that I’ve found myself having to make time and again goes something like this: If you believe that life begins at conception, then you have to be careful what you choose as far as birth control. However, those on the pro-choice side do not believe that life begins at conception, and, furthermore, the whole of Roe v. Wade rests on the concept that they justices were not able to determine from the evidence at the time that that is indeed the case.
However, this reasoning is fundamentally flawed. It has been testified and is well documented that life begins at conception.
Medical Textbooks and Scientific Reference Works Consistently Agree that Human Life Begins at Conception
The common fallacy that is continually repeated by those wishing to take away the humanity of the unborn child is that there is no medical or scientific consensus as to when human life begins– which is a lie.
Witness, some of the following testimony:
Dr. Louis Fridhandler, in the medical textbook Biology of Gestation, refers to fertilization as “that wondrous moment that marks the beginning of life for a new unique individual.” – 1
Doctors E. L. Potter and J. M. Craig write in Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, “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.” – 2
Some of the World’s Most Prominent Scientists and Physicians Testified to a U.S. Senate Committee that Human Life Begins at Conception
I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception… I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time consistutes termination of human life…
I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty… is not a human being. This is human life at every stage. – 3
There were no witnesses that could be brought forth to state that life began at any place other than conception. Only one witness stated that the time life began could not be determined.
The Facts are Clear
There is no disagreement that life begins at conception. Those that have researched it know this to be the case. The reason that this information is ignored or glossed over, though, is understandable. It’s easier to look at that human child inside as anything other than human. It helps to rationalize the taking of life and ease the guilt that comes with it.
These facts also need to get a grip on the Pro-Life community. As I’ve said before, if you truly believe this than it’s not enough to have a solution that whose primary means of birth control is preventing ovulation but also works to prevent implantation and kill the baby by denying it nourishment. Pro-Lifers need to find ways to preventing conception and thereby protecting life and being consistent in their beliefs.
1 Louis Fridhandler, “Gametogenesis to Implantation,” Biology of Gestation, vol. 1, ed. N. S. Assau (New York: Academic Press, 1968), 76.
2 E. L. Potter and J. M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3d ed. (Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975), vii.
3 Subcommitte on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Cong., 1st Sess., 1981.
Unless otherwise credited, facts taken from
Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments Expanded & Updated