Abortion: A Biological Perspective

James R. Aist

Introduction

When I took my first formal course in high school Biology in about 1960, everyone seemed to know that human life begins at conception. We studied the two-phase "life cycle" of several kinds of organisms, from plants to animals to humans, the vast majority of which reproduce by a sexual process. The adult organism is the dominant life phase that characterizes the organism, and it has two of each of the chromosomes of the species. This condition is referred to as "2N", meaning "two each of the normal set of chromosomes." This 2N phase is the one that produces the sexual reproductive cells – the egg and the sperm – which are 1N, having only one each of the normal set of chromosomes. In every one of these organisms that we studied, including humans, the 2N adult phase begins when the egg and the sperm unite at conception. This is the basic biology of sexually reproducing organisms, including humans, and this is how their life cycles are depicted in biology textbooks to this day.

The Human Life Cycle

From a biological perspective, the human life cycle is essentially the same as the life cycle of all the other organisms that reproduce sexually. Without uniting in the mother, the egg and sperm have no human life at all and do not develop into anything; they remain just an egg and a sperm and soon die. The 2N phase of the human life cycle -- which includes all of the developmental stages of human life from conception to fully formed babies in the womb to newborn babies to adolescents to teens to adults -- actually begins with conception in the mother. These are the basic, biological facts of human reproduction. So, from a biological perspective, human life (the 2N phase) begins at conception and proceeds on an uninterrupted continuum of developmental stages, first inside of the mother, and then outside of the mother. There is no identifiable point in this continuum at which an unborn child becomes suddenly human; the unborn child, being 2N, is, biologically speaking, a human being all along. And that is why, in 1960, everyone seemed to know that human life begins at conception.

Roe vs. Wade

Fast forward, now, to 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal in the entire country. The Court did not rule on specifically when human life begins, so it was left to others to decide this detail for themselves. These decisions were based on the false premise that there is a moment when a developing child changes suddenly from non-human to human. This premise is a fantasy that has no basis whatsoever in the science of biology. Rather, it is a figment of the human imagination, a transparent attempt to rationalize and justify the termination (i.e., murder, by definition) of helpless, innocent human life in the womb by declaring the existence of an arbitrary "transition" point in what is, in reality, a developmental continuum. Isn't it ironic that, in America, we permit murder only if the victim is a helpless, innocent child in his/her mother's womb, an environment that should be the safest place in the world for them?!

Enter Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound images or videos — especially the new 3-D versions – of a developing child in his/her mother's womb provide conclusive and convincing evidence that the unborn child is, indeed, a human being in the early stages of development. In fact, such images are so convincing that when women considering an abortion see their unborn child in their womb via ultrasound imaging, 88% of them change their minds and decide against abortion (click HERE). They KNOW that they are carrying a fully human being! To view an ultrasound video of an unborn child, click HERE.

Conclusion

The premise that there is a moment when a developing child changes suddenly from non-human to human is a fantasy that has no basis whatsoever in the science of biology. Rather, it is a figment of the human imagination, a transparent attempt to rationalize and justify the termination (i.e., murder, by definition) of helpless, innocent human life in the womb by declaring the existence of an arbitrary "transition" point in what is, in reality, a developmental continuum.

(For more articles by Professor Aist on ABORTION, click HERE)