Sunday, August 31, 2008

When Does Human Life Begin?


Why is this question so difficult? At the risk of sounding downright simplistic, would not the definition of the beginning of human life be the moment of conception? I mean, it's life and it's decidedly human. How else do we explain it?

Still, the confusion goes on. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently stated that she didn't think anyone can tell you when life begins, that is, human life. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama essentially dodged the issue. In response to the question of when does a baby get human rights, he stated that such an answer would be "above [his] pay grade." I'm not entirely sure what that means. Is he simply conceding the answer to God? If so, he's right in one sense. But the point here is that God has already answered the question. Life begins at conception.

And what about science for those who would cloud the issue by saying it's really all about religious views? In one of America's most prominent human embryology texts The Developing Human it is stated: "Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell - a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

Where is the confusion here Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Obama? Is this human life or not? And if so, I would think that it should be protected. Or am I missing something?

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