Is the unborn child a human being?
Since President Bill Clinton’s veto last year, of the partial-birth abortion ban there have been many interesting statements with reference to it. One of the most recent is by Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers. “One of the facts about abortion is that women enter clinics to kill their unborn child. It is a form of killing.”
For those who believe that the unborn baby is not a human being, this is a very telling admission from a very pro-abortion person. But, it is by no means new. I thought that it might be helpful to pro-lifers to know the statements which have been made over the years by some of the top scientists in the world.
Scientists do not have any doubts about the answer to the above question – “Is the fetus a human being?” Here are some quotes:
- The late Dr. (Sir) William Liley – knighted by the Queen for his work on fetology – said, “From the moment a baby is conceived, it bears the indelible stamp of a separate, distinct, personality, an individual different from all other individuals.”
- Rough & Shettles – Conception to Birth – “The entire blueprint for the construction of a person is contained in the chromosomes of a fertilized egg cell.”
- The First International Conference on Abortion held in Washington, D.C., October 1967 brought together authorities from around the world in the fields of medicine, legal ethics and the social sciences. Here is an extract from the official report: “The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of the sperm and the egg and the birth of an infant at which point we could say that this is not human life.”
- A proclamation opposing abortion, signed by 1,300 physicians in France and written by Nobel Prize winner, Professor Jerome Lejeune, was circulated among doctors in Britain. The text reads: “From the moment of fertilization the conceptus is alive and it is essentially distinct from the mother who provides nourishment and protection. From fertilization to old age, it is the same living being that grows develops, matures and dies – for these reasons the termination of pregnancy to solve economic or eugenic problems is directly in contradiction to the role of the doctor.”
- Dr. Bernard Nathanson formerly known as “The Abortion King of America” headed a clinic in the early 1970s which performed 60,000 abortions. He is now probably the greatest defender of the unborn baby in the scientific world. At the Joe Borowski trial in May, 1983, he told the court that he became pro-life when increased study of fetology convinced him that the fetus is a human being. Dr. Nathanson also testified that he was raised in the Jewish faith but is now an atheist (He recently converted to Catholicism). Becoming pro-life, he said, was “a secular decision.”
Dr. Herbert Ratner, executive member of the United States Commission on Human Life says, “It is now of unquestionable certainty that a human being comes into existence precisely at the moment when the sperm combines with the egg.” These writers are not Catholic bishops or priests or theologians. They are scientists, doctors and geneticists. There is a very interesting book entitled, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, by Doctor Verney. By new techniques – possibly hypnotism – he has been able to study the life and feelings of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs (Globe and Mail). He gives all kinds of examples to prove that the babies are very conscious of what is happening in the outside world. They can recognize their parents’ voices for instance. On pages 22 and 23 he gives one interesting example. Boris Brott, conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Symphony has said that he sometimes knew the air of a piece he had never heard or seen before. He told this to his mother who had been a concert violinist. She asked him for an example. He mentioned one piece. She said, “I was practicing that for a concert while I was carrying you.” Some of you may have heard of the film, The Silent Scream. It is an ultrasound of the abortion of a 23-week-old baby taken with the consent of the mother and the doctor. In it you can clearly see the baby recoiling from the suction tip and uttering a “silent scream.” The doctor in the film vowed never to do another abortion.
Finally a pro-choice editorial in California Medicine recognized that the position that human life does not begin at conception is politically and socially expedient for the pro-choice movement, but that “everyone” knows it is simply untrue:
“Since the old ethic has not been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra-or extra-uterine until death.”
Sounds like the Pope!