Thursday, November 13, 2008
When Does Life Stop?
At last!!! We reach the final step in our “Scientific Method”…the conclusion. There are plenty of you who thought last week’s “experiment” was a little different, but I hope it made a point.
So what is our conclusion? In our first couple of steps, we asked the question: “Given the scientific data of what it means to be human, does the pre-born child qualify as a human being?”
If we look at our observation, hypothesis, experiment, etc., we see that a new human being begins when the egg and sperm meet. We find our pre-born child is human because its unique blueprint, its DNA, is intact at the moment of conception. We also find that it is a distinct life form, not the mother’s body, but it’s own.
A new acquaintance of mine, Dr. Kevin Langford, the Director of the Pre-Health Professional Program at SFASU, agrees with me. However, his statement goes even further and is much more provocative. In a recent email, he said,
God initiated life at the “Creation” and life has continued unabated ever since that moment. My work with cells has also shown me that cells (the basic unit of life by scientific definition) are in fact, “ALIVE”. That would most certainly include a sperm and an egg. If either of those cells is rendered non-viable, there will be no fertilization, and no offspring. So, the argument of when life begins isn’t one in which I even consider. By the time there is a fertilized egg inside of a mother’s uterus, the discussion of when life “begins” is rather a moot point. Personally, I feel a better more thought provoking question would be, “when did it stop?”
So why does abortion exist?
The entire pro-choice movement is predicated on the following statement, “A woman has a right to do with her own body as she sees fit.”
Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
If we use this statement in conjunction with the United States Constitution then a woman does have the right to do as she sees fit to her body.
However, we must note something very important. If a woman is pregnant, then the life within her body is a separate person. “All men are created equal…” The rub is that she shouldn’t have the right to end that life just because it exists inside her body. The argument that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body becomes illogical and moot if another person is harmed in the process of a woman considering only her body.
The heart of the matter is something that we’ve grown to accept in this country and in modern society in general. We are horribly inconvenienced by others. We are even inconvenienced by ourselves.
I recently saw an ad for a woman’s contraceptive whose whole ad campaign was: pre-menstrual symptoms can “impact your life.” Duh! (Very unprofessional, but nevertheless it fit here.)
We want convenience at any cost. We have become a society that sees our own personal needs as the most important aspect of our existence. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and others recognize the fact that sacrifice (for others) becomes a benefit for society as a whole. Although these religions state this ideology, members of those faiths are many times oblivious to what their traditions teach.
From time to time, I’ve mentioned Amendment 48 here in Colorado. Many people have asked why Amendment 48 in Colorado failed and why similar amendments around the country failed.
Socialism, communism, and fascism have won. We no longer know or understand what our Christian, Jewish, or Hindu roots teach. We have lost respect for the individual completely. We have become so numbed down that we don’t even know what we should believe.
With this numbing down, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why we can differentiate a woman’s body from a child’s body. It’s no doubt that we call it a “woman’s right”. It’s no doubt that we can’t seem to agree on when human life begins. If it’s all about us, then how can we possibly see what’s outside of us?
The funny thing is science knows when life begins. If it didn’t, it would be interested in embryonic stem cells or in-vitro fertilization. Science knows when life begins. Deep down we do too. It’s just become inconvenient for us to be stewards of life. So when Dr. Langford says, “the thought provoking question is when did it (life) stop?” I think we’ll find that the only place life stops is in our minds when we refuse to see past ourselves.