In its issue of Aug. 13, the Globe and Mail showed a photo of a baby in the womb and explained that with the improvement in ultrasound, much clearer pictures of pre-born babies can be captured. The paper then stated that, “Ultrasound gives anti-abortion groups a new weapon in the emotional war.” This, I hope, is true, but the fact that the baby in the womb is a human being is not news to pro-lifers.
Of this fact, we have been convinced for years, mostly because of the stated opinions of scientists and doctors. Here are some statements attesting to this scientific truth.
- The first International Conference on Abortion, held in Washington D.C., in October 1967, brought together authorities from around the world in the fields of medicine, legal ethics and social sciences. Here is an extract from the official report to the U.S. government: “The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of sperm and the egg and the birth of an infant at which point we could say that this is not a human life.”
- The late Sir William Liley of New Zealand, knighted by the Queen for his work on fetology, made the following statement, “From the moment a baby lives, it bears the indelible stamp of a SEPARATE DISTINCT PERSONALTY, an individual different from all other individuals.”
- A proclamation opposing abortion, signed by 1,300 physicians and written by Dr. Jerome Lejuene, was circulated among doctors in Britain. The text reads, “From the moment of fertilization the conceptus is alive and it is distinct from the mother, who provides nourishment and protection. From fertilization to old age, it is the same living being, who grows, develops, matures and dies. For these reasons, the termination of a pregnancy to solve economic or eugenic problems is directly contrary to the role of the doctor.”
- Professor Hymie Gordon of the Mayo Clinic states, “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”
- Dr. Landrum Shettles, author of the excellent book Rites of Life states, “I oppose abortion. I do so, first, because I accept what is biologically manifest – that human life commences at the time of conception – and second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under any circumstances. My position is scientific, pragmatic and humanitarian.”
- The official Senate Report on Senate bill 158 (U.S.), the “human life bill,” summarized the issue in this way: “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 the countless medical, biological and scientific writings.”
Opposition to abortion is often labelled a religious belief, when, in fact, it has deep scientific and philosophic reasons too.
I leave you with the words of the most internationally known pro-life doctor: Dr. Bernard Nathanson, formerly known as “the abortion king of America.” In the early 1970s, he headed an abortion clinic where he presided over 6,000 abortions. He is now perhaps the greatest defender of the unborn baby in the scientific world. At the 1983 trial of Canadian pro-life hero Joe Borowski, Dr. Nathanson told the court that he became a pro-lifer 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 later became an atheist. Becoming pro-life, he said, was a secular decision.
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