Prolife Catholics and Christians have long believed a new human being is created the moment the egg (oocyte) of a woman is fertilized by the sperm (gamete) of a man, or said another way, at the moment of conception. The new person now called a zygote at this stage of development and has neither the mother’s DNA completely, nor the father, but its own unique DNA which is wholly its own.
According to many medical textbooks, “Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.” For those who are found of following the science, the fact is undisputable. The empirical data only bolsters what Christians have known all along from the third century onward by belief and informed reason.
Even without belief, the same conclusion is reached by reason alone. In healthy people cells are constantly being reproduced to replace old ones, but those new cells are exactly the ones they replace with the same DNA footprint. Now, when we speak about another cell group in a woman’s body such as a newly created zygote, those cells are different, having their own DNA composition. Sheer logic attests to the fact because those cells were formed by the conjoining of a mother’s cells (the egg) and the male’s cells (sperm). Without then joining of their two cells lines, there is not a third. No woman can become pregnant by just wishing it, nor is there a spontaneous generation without the addition of the male’s sperm. The new zygote, we call a new person, is distinct from the mother proven by science and reason. The argument put for by the pro-choice lobby is specious because they are not her cells, and hence, not her body.
If reason and science prove the new person created is something distinct from the mother, how then can the argument of reproductive health have any credence? The only way is if reproduction “rights” or “health” is defined as some type of contraceptive procedure. But it isn’t contraceptive at all, but rather the taking of another human life. Contraception (outside of the abortifacient methods) are meant to inhibit conception in the first place, abortion on the other hand, kills another distinct human being. Reproductive health is only a catch phrase for rationalizing the killing of another unique human person.
The pro-choice adherents much to their chagrin had to finally admit the newly conceived human being has human cells and not that of a donkey or a something else. What they now claim is the new human being it is not a person, meaning it has no rights, and therefore there is no imperative to defend it from harm or death. Denying the personhood of the fetus apparently gives the pro-choice followers of a moral “way out” of the conundrum. Cells, even human cells can be destroyed if the end justifies the means. It happens every day when people take chemotherapy. The same reasoning should apply, to unwanted human cells of a growing zygote. What they fail to realize is the difference between a cancer cell which moves and grows with the end result of death to itself and the host. On the other hand, zygote cells are programmed to grow and live with its end, a fully formed human being with no intention of compromising the host, its mother.
How can the ends be so different if they are both cell lines? Simply, because the zygote has an invisible life force which is called a soul making it a human person, a newly forming unity of body and soul. The Church has always pronounced the belief in the reality the zygote is a distinct human being and has been infused at the moment of conception with an immortal soul infused by God.
There is no way the belief can be substantiated by empirical data or science as we know it; however, it does not mean it can be known with a great deal of certainty using informed reason. As already proven, the zygote is something distinct from the mother and the father and yet even with the distinction, is alive in the womb with its own development and growing unique characteristics. The developing child is dependent on the mother for growth, but yet remains its own entity. If this weren’t the case then there could be no child surviving outside the womb prior to full gestation. Medicine has made great steps in helping premature children grow and live supplying the necessary environment for that growth. But what medicine can’t do is animate or give life to the child if it wasn’t already present to begin with.
Even before science proved a zygote has its own unique DNA, human reason concluded the new life was something distinct from the mother and father. What is also reasonable to conclude is the new life has its own life force, a human soul. The life in the womb is animated, meaning made alive apart from the mother’s support—that is the child’s soul. Reason can tell us the new child has its own cell lines (body) and its own life force (soul), the two components which make up a human person.
How then can any Christian claim it is alright to kill a human person with an immortal soul no matter what the circumstance? The fight now is to convince our own about the importance of defending God’s immortal creations, human persons like you and me. Just think, if all Christians defended the unborn the way they should, abortion in the world would be reduced dramatically.