Being pro-life is something that is very important to me, and it is also a very relevant issue today. This post is the second in a series of four installments explaining why I am pro-life. Each installment will give a different reason as to why I am pro-life. These reasons will be rooted in areas of life that I believe shape each and every one of us. These areas of life are religion, science, law, and emotion. In this installment, I will give my scientific reasons for being pro-life. This has been a lot of fun to research and it has been interesting to find many non-Christians who are pro-life.
Due to scientific advancement we can now find a fetal heartbeat 6-8 weeks after fertilization. With 4D ultrasounds we can see an unborn child respond to the sound of music at 14 weeks after fertilization. At 20 weeks we can scientifically prove that the baby’s nervous system has developed enough to feel pain. All of these facts point to one truth that no one can ignore: a child becomes both alive and human in the mother’s womb. This is something that really cannot be argued against with science, but the real question is when does the child actually become a living human being? To this question my answer is, at the point of fertilization.
At the exact point of fertilization we have all the genetic material that we are ever going to have, we have our genetic code or genetic blueprint. This genetic code is distinct from our mother’s. In their book “Human Embryology and Teratology” embryologists Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller state, “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.” At fertilization we become distinct from our mother, there is not a point in time when we are our mother’s body. This, of course, is one of the great arguments against being pro-life, that it is the woman’s body, simply put, this argument is not scientifically accurate. There are four criteria for a cell to be considered to have biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction. At the point of fertilization this new distinct human checks all of the marks and is scientifically alive. To drive this point a home I will quote Dr. Keith L. Moore in his book “The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology” “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
It is quite clear that we are scientifically living at the point of fertilization, this means that, scientifically, each abortion is killing a living being.
In our reasoning, we need not only consider if one is alive at fertilization but also if one is human. One argument that is often used against the pro-life argument is that the baby is not yet human. Scientifically, this argument doesn’t hold. The child in the mother’s womb is not some other species, rather the child is of the human species and at the point of fertilization has 100% of the child’s genetic code and that genetic code is 100% human. Simply put, no human has ever given birth to a dog nor will a human ever give birth to a dog. From the point of fertilization, a child is both living and human therefore, scientifically, each abortion is killing a living human being.
I would like to address one more argument in this post, the argument that abortion is morally acceptable because the child is dependent upon the mother. This, frankly, is a silly argument. Dependence does not negate life or humanity. Is a newborn child dependent upon his parents? Of course a newborn is dependent! If one kills a newborn we call it murder, because the newborn is a living human being. Another way to look at this dependency argument is by asking if those on welfare are dependent upon society. The answer, of course, is that they are. Does society have the right to kill those who are welfare? I sure hope your answer is a resounding “No!”. Science tells us that at the point of fertilization one is a distinct and living human being; dependence doesn’t give one the right to ignore those facts.
True science, as it always does, agrees with the Bible that at the point of fertilization each person is a distinct and living human being. Psalm 139:14 teaches us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, science agrees that this is at the point of fertilization. To not be pro-life not only affirms ones right to murder from a religious perspective, it also affirms the right on scientific grounds, this is why I am pro-life.
Pastor Sam Jones