The SCIENTIFIC Basis for Defending All Human Life

If you are around young children very often, you’re probably familiar with the Olivia the Pig series.  My niece loves those books.  But you’re probably not as familiar with Oliver the Egg.  Let me tell you about him.  Christopher Franceschelli has written a cute book about Oliver, who is really a chick growing inside of an egg.

Since I’d really not enjoy being sued for copyright violations, I won’t quote this entire six sentence book.  Suffice it to say that Mr. Franceschelli describes the very few things that Oliver could do as an egg.  He says, “But he was simply an egg and that was that.”

This little book (while very cute) completely misses the boat on science.  It’s final pages say, “until one day” (with a picture of an egg) “everything changed” (with a picture of a chick).  While rather entertaining for a small child, this book lacks any scientific or accurate value.  It’s patently untrue to say that, before hatching, a chick is “simply an egg.”  Uh, no.  It’s an unhatched chick inside an egg.

Oliver serves to illustrate the general lack of scientific and medical knowledge that many people and some pro-lifers have about the beginning of human life.  When exactly does human life begin?  Is there such a thing as a “fertilized egg”?  What’s the accurate term to call a new human being at the earliest stages?  Can we really prove from science that we should defend all human life?  What do medical experts say about this issue?  Pro-lifers  need to be more knowledgeable about what we are for and why we believe what we believe. Read more The SCIENTIFIC Basis for Defending All Human Life

Opposition to Sonogram Law Shows that Pro-Choice Means Pro-Abortion

The decisions by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to uphold the Texas sonogram law and deny a request to rehear the appeal have set off a firestorm of complaints from pro-choice forces.

Setting aside the rhetoric, the importance of the sonogram law and the appellate decisions upholding the law can be demonstrated by considering a different opinion from a different court delivered only a few months ago.

Ultasound Picture

In 2011, in Doe v. Planned Parenthood Chicago Area, the 1st District Appellate Court of Illinois rejected a woman’s lawsuit against an abortion clinic. The woman, identified as Mary Doe, previously had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Justice Rodolfo Garcia, writing the appellate opinion, held:

We accept as true the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint. On December 8, 2004, the plaintiff, 19 years old and about 12 weeks pregnant, sought counseling and assistance from the defendant Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area (PP), an abortion clinic. The plaintiff asked a PP counselor whether an abortion would terminate the life of a human being in the biological sense. The counselor replied in the negative. The plaintiff told the counselor that she had been informed by a pregnancy help center that an abortion terminates the life of a human being. The counselor replied that pregnancy help centers often deliberately misrepresent the facts to prospective mothers. The counselor assured her that an abortion did not terminate the life of a human being. Given this assurance, the plaintiff decided to have an abortion that same day.

Read more Opposition to Sonogram Law Shows that Pro-Choice Means Pro-Abortion

Newt Gingrich: Life Does Not Begin until Implantation

In an interview with ABC News, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he believes that life doesn’t begin until implantation. Science, though, has proven that life begins earlier, at fertilization.1

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Gingrich said: “I think the question of being implanted is a very big question. My friends who have ideological positions that sound good don’t then follow through the logic of: ‘So how many additional potential lives are they talking about? What are they going to do as a practical matter to make this real?’”

He added: “I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life.” He concluded that “otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions.”

Gingrich falsely described the scientific position that life begins at fertilization as “ideological.” He then questioned the logic of the scientific position, using an illogical argument to defend his own unscientific position.

First, Gingrich incorrectly labeled human life at fertilization as merely “potential” life. But zygotes, embryos, and fetuses, just like children, adolescents, and adults, are human lives at different stages of development. And zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are human lives even if not legally recognized as human lives. So we’re not talking about potential lives, we’re talking about existing lives.

Second, he based his belief, and his position, on a strategic analysis of the consequences. But the consequences don’t change the fact of when human life begins.

Gingrich spoke of avoiding “difficult questions.” Coming from someone running for the highest office in the land, this is telling.

A true leader tackles difficult questions.

Notes:
1. Carlson BM. Human Embryology and Developmental Biology. 3rd Edition. Mosby, 2004.
1. Moore KL, Persaud TVN. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. 8th Edition. Saunders, 2007.
1. O’Rahilly R, Müller F. Human Embryology & Teratology. 3rd Edition. Wiley-Liss, 2001.

Babies, Not Parasites: New Study Reveals How Pregnancy Can Help Fight Heart Disease

From the Gawker science blog io9 comes a particularly cool revelation about pregnancy that might seem apolitical at first glance, but holds powerful implications for one of the abortion movement’s more callous talking points:

Researchers have known for some time that women who experience weakened heart function in the months before and after childbirth (a condition known as peripartum cardiomyopathy) recover more quickly than any other group of heart failure patients. Now, a team of researchers from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine thinks it may know why.

The researchers have demonstrated that when a pregnant mouse suffers from a heart attack, her fetus will actually donate cells that can migrate to mom’s heart before differentiating into different types of cardiac cells, aiding in the heart’s regenerative processes. Read more Babies, Not Parasites: New Study Reveals How Pregnancy Can Help Fight Heart Disease

“A World Without People With Down Syndrome.” At What Cost?

One of the great philosophical divisions of our time is between those who believe progress is steadily making mankind happier, healthier, and all-around better; and those who believe human nature is basically constant, with new developments just as capable of yielding evil as they are good. Both worldviews collide in a recent New York Post story on a new method of testing for Down Syndrome:

Last month, San Diego-based Sequenom released a test that allows doctors to screen for the most prevalent type of Down syndrome with only a blood test from the mother. The screening is available in 20 cities and is expected to hit New York soon. Two other companies have plans to release similar tests next year […]

Because the current methods of screening for Down syndrome, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, carry a risk of inducing miscarriage, only about 2% of pregnant women in the nation undergo the screening, says Dr. Brian Skotko, of the Down syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Sounds great…except for what expecting mothers might do with the information: Read more “A World Without People With Down Syndrome.” At What Cost?

Amazing Video: Yale Scientist Visualizes Conception to Birth

From the Open Culture intro:

Alexander Tsiaras has made a career of using advances in visualization technology to offer vivid tours of the human body. His books have taken readers inside the human heart, the kidneys and vascular system, and also human reproduction. Back in 2002, Tsiaras published From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds, a book that offers a “visual diary of fetal development.” Now, nearly a decade later, he brings that visual diary to video at a conference affiliated with TED.

What’s more amazing is how he describes what he’s learned from doing these complex visualizations. Twice he talks about the “divinity” of the process of human development, and about how, even as a mathematician, the extraordinary complexity of human development is many orders of magnitude more than he can comprehend. The video is amazing and is certainly worth sharing with friends and on Facebook/Twitter:

FoxNews Uses Misleading, Anti-Science Headline Comparing Persons to Eggs

FoxNews typically does a better job than most mainstream media of portraying the abortion issue in a “fair and balanced” way.

But not this time.

FoxNews originally ran a story earlier today about the Mississippi Personhood Amendment with the headline:

“Push to Declare a Human Egg a ‘Person’ Offers New Tack on Abortion Debate”

FoxNews later changed the headline and switched “Human” for “Fertilized” in front of Egg.

Sadly, FoxNews has fallen into a trap the pro-abortion movement tries to use, claiming that pro-lifers believe a human egg is a person and that we want human eggs to receive legal protection. This is completely false, because pro-lifers actually know their biology and are proud to use science when making our case for protecting the dignity and right to life of the unborn.

Read more FoxNews Uses Misleading, Anti-Science Headline Comparing Persons to Eggs

Steve Heilig at the Huffington Post Engages in Pro-Abortion Scare Tactics

Steve Heilig at the Huffington Post wrote:

“Three decades ago, medical and public health students at UCLA were sometimes taken on a tour of an old hospital ward, previously dedicated to women suffering the aftereffects of illegal abortions. I believe there had been something like 70 beds then and the veteran professor who guided us on the visit said that until 1970, when abortion was legalized in California, the ward was always full of suffering and dying women. ‘We used to have to mop their blood from the floors here – it reminded me of serving in World War II,’ said the old doctor. After the laws changed, the ward quickly emptied out and was no longer needed.”

Remember, Heilig didn’t personally witness the “dying women” or “blood” on the floors. He’s simply reciting a story told by a pro-abortion doctor. So, let’s take a closer look at this story.

Read more Steve Heilig at the Huffington Post Engages in Pro-Abortion Scare Tactics