Given the events of the past few years, including other public demonstrations like the March For Science and the Women’s March, there could never have been a better moment to point out the obvious: being pro-life is both pro-science and pro-woman. It is remarkable how much of the science gets lost amid the strong emotions evoked by the abortion debate. The main dividing line between pro-life and pro-choice is not which side cares more about women, families, and their basic freedoms. Rather, the main difference is how each group applies the scientific facts to determine what constitutes women’s rights.
Human Cells, Human Organisms, Human Beings
The scientific question of when the life of a human being begins is often lost or confused with the philosophical and legal questions of what constitutes a human person and which human persons deserve equal protection under the law.
Based on the biological definition of life at the cellular level, science unequivocally affirms that a newly fertilized human embryo is a living organism. The male sperm cell and the female oocyte (egg) are both human cells, and the fusion of the sperm to the egg unites the two living, human reproductive cells to form a single distinct, live, human embryo. The newly formed human embryo has the complete genetic code needed for the capacities that make it a living organism—capacities such as self-directed activity, growth, maintenance of homeostasis, and reproduction.
In other words: the developing fetus, whose origins trace back embryologically to the single-cell embryo, was never a nonliving entity. Furthermore, because the complete genomic content is present from the human embryo’s conception onward, and the genomic content contains all of the instructions for every function of the developing human across all stages of life, the embryo is equipped with the biological capacities of an organism from the very beginning.
Read more at The Public Discourse