Posted by: Jayme | December 5, 2008

Clearing Up Beginning of Life Confusion

In a recent post I expressed shock at seeing a commercial for the Plan B drug that actually used the words “Plan B is not the abortion pill.”  My very basic knowledge of human physiology and the bio-tech industry made that highly unlikely.  After a little digging, (see aforementioned post) my suspicions were confirmed.

Dr. Maureen Condic of the University of Utah Medical School

Dr. Maureen Condic of the University of Utah Medical School

Yet, the Federal Trade Commission has not gone after them for violating truth in advertising laws.  The drug company can get away with this because of the agenda of some in the scientific community to redefine when life begins.

Susan E. Wills’ commentary When Does Human Life Begin?, recently printed in the National Catholic Register, goes far in clearing the confusion.  In her article Wills describes the content and merit of a new paper published by the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person in Thornwood, N.Y., and authored by University of Utah School of Medicine associate professor, Maureen Condic, Ph.D..  Wills shares that,

Based on her objective review of current scientific evidence in human embryology, Condic convincingly demonstrates that a new human organism (an embryo that is called a “zygote” in its one-celled form) comes into being at the moment when the sperm and egg fuse. This occurs mere seconds after the sperm has penetrated the thin layer of protein enveloping the egg.

This may not sound like news to anyone who completed a high school biology course, but

Her evidence refutes the recent assertions of some scientists that a human life begins at the eight-cell stage when gene transcription begins, or four days post-fertilization when the inner cell mass forms distinct from placental cells, or at 5 to 6 days when the embryo implants in the uterine wall. Condic demonstrates that each of these events — like a baby’s first tooth or the onset of puberty — are simply milestones along life’s path and “not indicative of any fundamental change in the entity.”

Condic’s paper contests the type of murky science that lets pharmaceutical companies producing abortifacients refer to them only as contraceptives.  This objective scientific paper also, as Wills points out,

comes at a critical time. The new administration and many members of the next Congress are already championing policies that will put nascent human lives at even greater risk than they are today.

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