Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

November 6, 2013

OPINION: When does human life begin?

(Continued)

“Human embryos, whether they are formed by fertilization, natural or in vitro, or by successful somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), i.e., cloning, do have the internal resources and active disposition to develop themselves to the mature stage of a human organism, requiring only a suitable environment and nutrition. In fact, scientists distinguish embryos from other cells or clusters of cells precisely by their self-directed, integral functioning, their organismal behavior.

Thus, human embryos are what the embryology textbooks say they are, namely, human organisms, living individuals of the human species at the earliest developmental stage.”

Here is a look at a few of those early developmental facts:

• Eighteen days – a baby’s heart begins to beat.

• Forty-three days brain coordinates movement.

• Seven weeks – a baby can hiccup.

• Eight weeks – organs can function.

• Nine weeks – baby has permanent fingerprints.

Human embryos only need a suitable environment and nutrition to become more mature human beings.

Hey, that’s kind of like humans at any stage, at least for our biological maturity. Unfortunately, the culture outside of the womb is seemingly a less and less “suitable environment” for bringing about other kinds of maturity. But that’s another issue entirely.

But despite our maturity, biological or otherwise, we are “whole” members of the human species, human beings. And with that comes an inherent dignity and right to life.

One of the great powers of science is that it is able to help clarify moral issues like this for us. It’s a powerful tool. Science is clear on this one. If you are a fan of science, then consider also being a fan of human life, at all of its stages.

Society continually seeks to devalue the lives of the unborn, creating its own definitions of humanity based on distorted views of morality. But the undeniable fact is that life begins at creation, and a human is created as soon as he or she is conceived. God is present at our creation; He is, in fact, our Creator. Our value as human beings created in His image is conceived even before we are.

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