I cited the following quotation in my last post on this topic:
"If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion is necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate."--Gregory Koukl, Precious Unborn Human Persons, p. 7As I posited previously, the entire abortion question centers on this question: The unborn, what is it?
To answer that question I am going to go to more than one source of authority. The first one I will cite is "science." What has the medical and scientific community had to say on this question?
Before answering that question let me say that, of course, science is not infallible. Science is a method of inquiry, not a source of authority. It only becomes authoritative when its methods prove something to be true. However, in this case, since (a) the scientific community is virtually unanimous on this question, (b) to the secularist scientific opinion takes the place of religion as the source of authority on nearly every matter, and (c) this is a scientific question, then I do think it is proper to cite the opinion of the scientific community on this matter.
Again, I refer you to the website Case For Life. I found the following quotations there.
Scott Klusendorf at Case For Life:
"In its 1859 Report on Criminal Abortion, the American Medical Association (AMA) understood that 'the independent and actual existence of the child before birth as a living being' was a scientific truth. Nothing has changed since that time. For the past 150 years doctors have known that life begins at conception."Consider also this quotation from a medical textbook published in 1968, five years before the infamous Roe v. Wade decision:
"It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material that each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual." (Bradley M. Patten, Human Embryology, 3rd ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 1968, page 43.)Or this quotation just two years after:
"Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition." (E. L. Potter and J. M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd ed., Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975, page vii.)Dr. Watson A. Bowes of the University of Colorado Medical School testified before Congress in 1981:
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter - the beginning is conception." (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981.)The Senate later concluded:
"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." (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, Ibid.)Now, let me quote Scott Klusendorf again:
"Prior to advocating abortion, former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone would question these basic scientific facts. 'This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn't part of the common knowledge,' he wrote in his book Life in the Making. (A. Guttmacher, Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation, New York: Viking Press, 1933, p. 3.)The science is clear. Life, human life, begins at conception. If this be the case, then abortion is, and always has been, the destruction of a human life.