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Sorry, fertilized eggs are not living beings

Sorry, fertilized eggs are not living beings

It is time to have a fact-based discussion about the biology and history of our knowledge about human reproduction. Much of the current discussion does not reflect the reality of human reproduction. Declaring a fertilized egg to be a person is ridiculous from biological, historical and religious perspectives. 

Let’s begin with the biological realities. During the natural course of events as many as 40% of fertilized eggs are lost before implantation in the uterus. Estimates of how many fertilized eggs do not make it to a live birth range from 30% to more than 75%. The fact is that a majority of fertilized eggs may not result in a live birth. This makes Mother Nature — or God if you will — the most prolific abortionist in the world.

IVF (In vitro fertilization) work and other related studies have found that chromosomal anomalies are frequently among the conditions that result in the death or abortion of fertilized eggs. In the early divisions from fertilized egg to embryo, cell division can result in a range of “errors” in the division resulting in something other than the “normal” 46 chromosomes or other genetic anomalies. A range of other factors can result in conditions that make the resulting embryo or fetus to not be viable.

Biologically, it is only after the fetus is viable outside the womb that one could consider it a separate person. Until then the fetus is totally dependent on the mother and cannot survive outside the womb.

The bottom line is that the contention that a fertilized egg should be granted the same “rights” as a woman or man is absolutely ridiculous from a biological perspective. Based on the best science only a fraction of fertilized eggs will ever become a live birth.

Next let’s look at the historical perspective. Not until about 1875 did science discover the fact that human fertilization consisted of joining of egg and sperm. Historically, sperm was believed to contain the complete preformed individual or sufficient essence to develop into a person in the womb. Presumably, the woman’s contribution to the baby’s characteristics would be thorough the environment she provided during gestation.

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In the Bible, life for a human begins when God breaths the breath of life into the individual (Genesis 2:7). Essentially, life begins when the individual starts breathing and ends when breathing stops. Biblical writers talk about males having seed that is planted into the female to produce a child. This would seem to be compatible with the aforementioned concept that the semen contains all that is needed to produce a baby.

In Exodus 21: 22-25, a woman has a miscarriage as a result of injuries sustained when she intercedes in a fight. The fetus is treated as a property loss and not a murder. This would be compatible with the concept that life beings with the breath of God and that a fetus is not a person until birth.

From both a historical and religious (Christian) perspective there does not seem to be support for life beginning before birth. From a purely biological perspective, a human egg is far from being a person as only a portion reach a viable birth. The “personhood” of a fertilized egg is a ludicrous modern-day invention. Men can legislate all they want, but Mother Nature will continue to be the master abortionist answerable only to God’s laws of nature.

(Norman Hoffman is a doctoral level clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in the assessment of diagnosable conditions. He lives in Waynesville. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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