Debate Info

Debate Score:82
Total Votes:97
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 Science speaks to when human life starts (64)

Debate Creator

churchmouse(328) pic

Science speaks to when human life starts

Science and technology have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that each unborn child is a unique member of the human family with his or her own genetic makeup separate from the mother or father.

What is common from pro-aborts is to say that the unborn is just a blob, a mass of tissue. It can't think, can't feel, its tiny...therefore it's ok to kill. This tissue however so says science is a new human being.

Even if the pro-abort agrees with what medical science says, many times it makes no difference...they maintain the choice should lie with the woman. It is her body, her choice. Many say that choice should be allowed on demand throughout the entire nine reason...and some say no...the more the unborn looks like a baby...killing should be off the table.

The unborn is not a blob...not just a hunk of tissue. It is a living human being from conception...and science states this over and over...and yet pro-aborts don't get it, they choose NOT to believe it. They think that only someone who comes to this issue through God...would think this way.

The fact is everyone of us came to be after our mothers egg was conceived with our fathers sperm.This is when our human life began. Everything we needed happened then. You had your own genetic makeup, your own organs.....apart from your parents. The unborn baby is not the mothers body.   

I provide this proof from nonreligious sources.



Add New Argument
4 points

Credit where credit's due, someone has done their research ;) My congratulations.

2 points

The information comes from Medical textbooks, Medical dictionaries…from universities such as Harvard and from such medical institutions as Mayo Clinic. Others come from Scientific Encyclopedias. NOTHING CHRISTIAN ABOUT THE SOURCES.

The following references illustrate the fact that a new human embryo, the starting point for a human life, comes into existence with the formation of the one-celled zygote:

1. "Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote."

[England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

2."Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).

"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being."

[Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

3. "Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus."

[Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]

4."Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus."

[Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]

5."Embryo: The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another individual of the species. In man the term 'embryo' is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy."

[Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]

6."The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, thezygote."

[Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

7."Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism.... At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun.... The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life."

[Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]

8."I would say that among most scientists, the word 'embryo' includes the time from after fertilization..."

[Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]

9."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 rise to a new organism, the zygote."

[Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

10. "The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist, when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is a continuum.... But I think one of the useful definitions that has come out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the two break down."

[Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]

11."Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression 'fertilized ovum' refers to the zygote."

[Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

12."The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are...respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development."

[Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

13. "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity."

[O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]

14. "Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual."

[Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

15. "[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after fertilization....

"[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo....

"I'll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a sixteen-day-old embryo.

"The term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena -- where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo) experimentation -- as well as in the confines of a doctor's office, where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients. 'Don't worry,' a doctor might say, 'it's only pre-embryos that we're manipulating or freezing. They won't turn into real human embryos until after we've put them back into your body.'"

[Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

None of these sources mention God...or personal beliefs.

2 points

A United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee invited experts to testify on the question of when life begins. All of the quotes from the following experts come directly from the official government record of their testimony.

Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated:

“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 constitutes a 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 not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School: “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive.... It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.... Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data.”

Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School: “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception. This straightforward biological fact should not be distorted to serve sociological, political, or economic goals.”

A prominent physician points out that at these Senate hearings, “Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even a single expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Only one witness said no one can tell when life begins.”

Many other prominent scientists and physicians have likewise affirmed with certainty that human life begins at conception:

Ashley Montague, a geneticist and professor at Harvard and Rutgers, is unsympathetic to the prolife cause. Nevertheless, he affirms unequivocally, “The basic fact is simple: life begins not at birth, but conception.”

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, internationally known obstetrician and gynecologist, was a cofounder of what is now the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). He owned and operated what was at the time the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere. He was directly involved in over sixty thousand abortions.

Dr. Nathanson’s study of developments in the science of fetology and his use of ultrasound to observe the unborn child in the womb led him to the conclusion that he had made a horrible mistake. Resigning from his lucrative position, Nathanson wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that he was deeply troubled by his “increasing certainty that I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths.”

Dr. Landrum Shettles was for twenty-seven years attending obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Shettles was a pioneer in sperm biology, fertility, and sterility. He is internationally famous for being the discoverer of male- and female-producing sperm. His intrauterine photographs of preborn children appear in over fifty medical textbooks. Dr. Shettles states,

I oppose abortion. I do so, first, because I accept what is biologically manifest—that human life commences at the time of conception—and, second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under any circumstances. My position is scientific, pragmatic, and humanitarian.

2 points

The First International Symposium on Abortion came to the following conclusion:

The changes occurring between implantation, a six-week embryo, a six-month fetus, a one-week-old child, or a mature adult are merely stages of development and maturation. The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of sperm and egg, or at least the blastocyst stage, and the birth of the infant at which point we could say that this was not a human life.

The Official Senate report on Senate Bill 158, the “Human Life Bill,” summarized the issue this way:

Physicians, biologists, 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. scientists-attest-life-beginning-conception/

And from the National Review Online

Modern science long ago resolved the question. We actually know when the life of a new human individual begins.

A recently published white paper, “When does human life begin? A scientific perspective,” offers a thorough discussion of the facts of human embryogenesis and early development, and its conclusion is inescapable: From a purely biological perspective, scientists can identify the point at which a human life begins. The relevant studies are legion. The biological facts are uncontested. The method of analysis applied to the data is universally accepted.

Your life began, as did the life of every other human being, when the fusion of egg and sperm produced a new, complete, living organism — an embryonic human being. You were never an ovum or a sperm cell, those were both functionally and genetically parts of other human beings — your parents. But you were once an embryo, just as you were once an adolescent, a child, an infant, and a fetus. By an internally directed process, you developed from the embryonic stage into and through the fetal, infant, child, and adolescent stages of development and ultimately into adulthood with your determinateness, unity, and identity fully intact. You are the same being — the same human being — who once was an embryo.

It is true that each of us, in the embryonic and fetal stages of development, were dependent on our mothers, but we were not maternal body parts. Though dependent, we were distinct individual human beings. That is why physicians who treat pregnant women know that they are caring not for one patient, but for two. (Of course, in cases of twins and triplets physicians are caring for more than two!)

Why, then, do we seem so far from a consensus on questions of abortion and embryo-destructive research?

Perhaps because the debate over when human life begins has never been about the biological facts. It has been about the value we ascribe to human beings at the dawn of their lives. When we debate questions of abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, we are not really disagreeing about whether human embryos are human beings. The scientific evidence is simply too overwhelming for there to be any real debate on this point. What is at issue in these debates is the question of whether we ought to respect and defend human beings in the earliest stages of their lives. In other words, the question is not about scientific facts; it is about the nature of human dignity and the equality of human beings.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.

Condic, a senior fellow of the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, published her conclusions in a white paper titled "When Does Human Life Begin?" In the report she addresses the topic using current scientific data in human embryology.

An associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Condic received her doctorate in neurobiology from the University of California, Berkely. Her teaching focuses primarily on embryonic development, and she directs the University of Utah School of Medicine's course in human embryology.

As a scientist and as director of a medical school course in human embryology, I have been considering the general question of when human life begins for quite a few years. The argument put forward in the white paper has grown out of discussions with philosophers, scientists and ethicists, as well as out of my own research in this area.

Yet this topic has come to the fore in the lead-up to the presidential election. While the topic of when life begins has generally been avoided by politicians and government officials, recently a number of prominent figures have offered their interpretations, making this a timely subject to consider with scientific rigor and neutrality.

Q: You define the moment of conception as the second it takes for the sperm and egg to fuse and form a zygote. What were the scientific principles you used to arrive at this conclusion?

Condic: The central question of "when does human life begin" can be stated in a somewhat different way: When do sperm and egg cease to be, and what kind of thing takes their place once they cease to be?

To address this question scientifically, we need to rely on sound scientific argument and on the factual evidence. Scientists make distinctions between different cell types (for example, sperm, egg and the cell they produce at fertilization) based on two simple criteria: Cells are known to be different because they are made of different components and because they behave in distinct ways.

These two criteria are used throughout the scientific enterprise to distinguish one cell type from another, and they are the basis of all scientific (as opposed to arbitrary, faith-based or political) distinctions. I have applied these two criteria to the scientific data concerning fertilization, and they are the basis for the conclusion that a new human organism comes into existence at the moment of sperm-egg fusion.

Here is her research in the paper. whitepaperlife_print.pdf

2 points

I think we should take all the abortionists and bomb them. That's the solution a lot of good christians on this site want to use with the "muslim problem", and I respect their opinion, coming, as it is, from God, so let's use it on the abortionists as well.

churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

I do not believe in violence....the pro-abort believes violence is the answer.

LeRoyJames(372) Clarified
1 point

I'm sure you don't. The above statement wasn't directed at you, but at some of the other "christians" on this site who have suggested bombing the middle east to solve the "muslim issue".

2 points

If the morality of killing a human being is determined by their level of development, I think we could justify (however grossly) eugenics with this kind of logic. But then, I often think of abortion as a disguised form of eugenics anyway.

Where's the part about you being able to tell other people what to do with their uterusses?

Centifolia(1318) Clarified
3 points

Its time to stop playing pretend. Its called "murder" whichever angle you look at.

churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

That is not what this debate is about. These are non biased..sources that confirm overwhelmingly that life starts at conception.

Wondering however about your obviously condone abortion on demand for any reason throughout the entire nine months...right?

AveSatanas(4437) Disputed
1 point

No shit life starts at conception. The fertilized egg isn't dead. But what defines humanity? Having human dna? If something had no body, no mind, no morals, no emotions, nothing but had human DNA is it really a human being? I don't think so. I think abortion is a medicsl procedure that is the choice of a woman and her partner and doctor that shouldn't be controlled by other people who have no business interfering with her body and life. I don't think a fetus is a human being until it develops a brain and can feel pain. Two things that develop well after the legal boundary to get an abortion. I obviously don't support abortions for all 9months but the boundary now (which I think is 20 weeks) seems just fine to me for a normal medical procedure which can save lives and is nobodys business but theirs.

The good news is, everything happens according to the will of the almighty creator, so don't worry churchmouse, The Lord works in mysterious ways and every single abortion that has ever taken place is part of his divine plan.

churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

Your comment from a pagan I will dismiss.

His plan is not to cause evil to happen. Is He responsible for your vile and hate filled position? No you are. You are responsible for your views and your actions.

His plan is perfect and He knows what you will do...but He does not cause you to do it.

The fact that you would even mention the word Lord...turns my stomach.

If what you say is right...then if someone murdered you...that would be ok, right? All part of his plan. LMAO

The fact is you are trying to derail the topic...because you don't want to address it.

1 point

You clearly don't understand the omnipotence of God. He is the creator of all; all that is, all that was and all that ever will be. He has designed every fibre of every being. Every chemical reaction and every pulse of electricity that control the actions of every living creature take place in accordance with his divine will.

If I am murdered, then surely it is good in the eyes of The Lord or such an occurrence would not come to pass.

You are but a filthy wretch; born of sin and the taint of Satan. This is why you question the wisdom of The Father.

I will pray for you.

churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

I will not talk to a pagan about my are here to demean the faith. Some hearts are hardened...yours is one of them.

I thought stuff like this was common knowledge... I need to get out more.

1 point

If we let the people who want to have abortions have abortions, then they will eventually be weeded out through natural selection, and we won't have any more abortions.

LeRoyJames(372) Disputed
1 point

Oh wait, unless some of them are having abortions while they're still unable to support their offspring, and still plan on having kids later in life when they can properly take care of them. Then the kids they have later in life might be more successful and actually help perpetuate those evil abortionist genes even longer. Dang! I hadn't thought of that. :(

I don't believe anyone is making the claim that an unborn fetus is not human. It is, in fact, human as soon as the egg is fertilized.

However, it is not yet a person- in the same way that an individual who is brain dead but on life support may be alive, but is no longer a person, just a collection of living tissue. Everything that made a brain dead individual who they are is gone; everything that would make a fetus a person is no longer there yet.

Even after the central nervous system has developed, and it is possible for the fetus/infant to have perceptions and feel pain, it still takes more time for the connections to form, actual consciousness to arise, and for the person, the individual, to form.

However, this is a very problematic angle to take in terms of abortion, because consciousness (for lack of a better word) does not form in the first trimester, the second trimester, or the third trimester; it gradually starts to take shape during the first couple of years of life, varying depending on the individual. Usually the conscious mind begins to form a few months after birth, sometimes later; herein lies the problem with this angle, as stating it seems to imply advocating not only late term abortion but early infanticide. I don't believe anybody advocates the latter, and very few advocate the former.

I'm more of the mind that abortion should be limited to the period before the fetus is able to experience pain, and I see abortion as an unfortunate necessity given the current climate. Adoption is not a solution to the problem, as there are FAR more children up for adoption than there are families to adopt them, and the foster system is not only overloaded as it is, but the experiences of children in the foster system are on the whole awful- certainly there are some good foster homes, but they are very much exceptions to the rule. I don't like abortion, and being male myself it will never be my body on the line either. However, I can't personally countenance a ban on abortion without significant reform to the adoption and foster systems first; otherwise we'd just be queuing up even more children in a broken system and setting them up for a life of existential crises and abuse; it's bad enough to know that ones birth parents gave them up, but nobody wanted to adopt them either? If we can reform the foster system to improve the overall quality of foster care, as well as work out a way to encourage and increase adoption rates, maybe then we can table a ban on abortion, but as it is now anyone who is politically pro-life has either not sufficiently explored the whole picture, or is simply not really thinking of the children- in favor of pushing a religious and/or political agenda.

Complete crap. Life begins at birth. .

Okay so a fetus is a human being; so now what is wrong with terminating a baby that isn't wanted or loved, and has almost no personality or connections to world yet?

0 points

Proved without a shadow of doubt that an unborn child is a unique family member you say? Well, what if were to say that a blob of organic matter doesn't constitute a person, how are you going to convince me that I should treat it like one?

Well since I maintain that this blob isn't a person (yet), then it seems that your only resort is to appeal to this blob's ability to evolve into a person. You can only convince me that I should respect this blob by demonstrating that this blob has potential to become a functioning person.

Remember that no matter what, you won't be able to convince that a this blob is a person. A blob is not a person! So if you want my attitude to change, you need to appeal to something different than "this blob's intrinsic person hood". So your only option is to show that it has potential. But notice that any DNA string in my body is just as capable of becoming an individual as some random blob is. Moreover all clones will not be exact copies of me, environmental circumstances will cause these copies' epigenetic systems to arrive a wildly different configurations. My toenails, hair and feces has the potential to become a unique person.

But weren't this kind of inference what made an unborn blob worthy of respect? Weren't I supposed to respect this blob because it had potential? Doesn't all this mean that we have to respect a human hair just as much as a random fertilized blob? Well, since you can't convince me of the blob's intrinsic humanness, you have to resort to potential. But appealing to potential brings a whole range of bad conclusions into the mix, so it's a weak argument. A blob is a not a person, and you can't appeal to potential, so what other arguments are you left with?

churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

What is the blob you are talking about?

From the second the egg and sperm unite and fertilization takes is a human being. It has everything it needs to become a living functioning member of society. It is not a part of its mother other than using her body as a safe place to grow.

A blob? Nothing could be further than the truth.

It is a developing organism from the start....not a blob.

"The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."

[Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

Highly specialized cells.....does not sound like a blob to me.

"The zygote contains DNA from the mother and the father, combined to form the full set of genetic material that will control the cellular production of the new baby. In some cases, two eggs are released in the same menstrual cycle, and they are both fertilized, forming two zygotes. If both zygotes develop, they become fraternal twins. The process of producing identical twins involves only a single zygote, which forms into an embryo before dividing into two separate bodies. As the zygote travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus, it divides and replicates itself. Once it has formed a ball of cells, it is referred to as a blastocyst."

The blastocyst implants itself in the wall of the mother's uterus within a few days of fertilization. There, it continues to grow rapidly, into a ball of several hundred cells. Most of the ball is only one layer of cells thick. This part of the ball becomes the placenta, an organ that serves as a connector to the bloodstream of the mother and helps to mediate development. One region of the blastocyst is three to four cells thick. This region eventually becomes the embryo itself."

"The embryo floats in a thin, fluid-filled membrane called the amniotic sac. It is connected to the placenta via the umbilical cord. During this stage of baby development in the womb, the human shape becomes recognizable. The spinal cord and brain are clearly differentiated from the rest of the body. The heart forms and begins to beat. The arms and legs sprout at the beginning of this stage; by the end, fingers and toes form. As the brain develops, it starts to produce electrical activity doctors can record. The nerve impulses produced by the brain begin to cause the muscles to contract and move.

Teratogens are agents that can cause birth defects by disrupting normal development in the womb. Drugs, alcohol, infection and radiation are the most common teratogens. According to the National Institutes of Health, the embryo is especially sensitive to teratogens because of the great amount of developmental change that occurs during this stage. For this reason, expectant mothers are strongly encouraged to avoid exposure to teratogens during this stage of development."

Blob is not the right term to use...human being is. But if blob makes you feel better about the issue of abortion and what your actually killing then by all means use it.

Some peoples hearts are just hardened. If you can't see the humanity in all this then you never will. What is obvious is that you don't respect human life. Killing is your solution to all things...especially getting rid of a child. What gives you that right?

Nebeling(1118) Disputed
1 point

But do you have any other way of defending the pro-life position if you can't refer to this zygote's intrinstic humaness?

1 point

I should note here that you can't exactly say that it is a human being at the moment of fertilization.

That fertilized egg could separate (or partially separate) into two portions as it develops- in this case, it would be two human beings, twins (or conjoined twins).

That same fertilized egg could bond to and become incorporated into the structure of another developing fertilized egg- making that original fertilized egg only part of the resultant human being (who would be a chimera).

It could also fail to develop any further beyond that point, never implant, etc.

A fertilized egg can potentially become zero, one half, one, two, or more human beings.