Monday, May 21, 2007

Life at conception: it's not a "religious" thing, got that?

Dean Barnett's op-ed, "I'm Pro-Life, but not Religious" in today's Boston Globe is good reading. Barnett, a self described proud Jew "but not religous" challenges his readers to the all-too-familiar "what if?" question, i.e. "what if life really does begin at conception"... and cautions erroring on the side of caution.

What if it begins at conception? If that's the case, then the implications are beyond horrifying. It means that our country has taken 45 million innocent lives through abortion since Roe v. Wade, all with the explicit sanction of the law and therefore the implicit sanction of the rest of society.

Because we don't know where life begins, the only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution -- the side of life. In other words, because an abortion might take an innocent life, it should be avoided. It should also be illegal in most cases.

I'd say "bravo, Dan," except for one thing.

We do know when life begins...and have for some time.

The study of embryology -- I looked it up and so can you, right here -- the branch of biology that studies the formation and early development of living organisms -- has many definitions but one statement is consistent:

1.) The branch of biology that deals with the formation, early growth, and development of living organisms.

An embryo is not an "idea."

I may "conceive" the notion of knitting a sock. (Not likely, but there you are.) Now, I may actually begin to knit said sock. But in the process, I can change my mind and end up knitting an argyle scarf.

This is not what happens human fertilization occurs.

There's no "changing of the mind" here. What we have is a living being. In the case of humans, it's a living human being.

We know this. This is not an "article of faith." This is an article of science, and, not incidentally, common sense.

I applaud Dean Barnett's thinking. I only suggest he take it a step further and acknowledge that life does begin -- as John Kerry noted! -- at conception.

Because once you look the truth in the eye -- no matter how ugly -- you can cut the bleep and rectify the errors.

Know and understand and contemplate this:

Since 1975, this country has taken -- either knowingly or not -- the lives of over 45 million living babies.

But even worse? Since the recognition that human life begins at conception -- and my take is that that recognition hasn't come that much later than 1975 -- we've done it on purpose.

Let's get serious folks. We know we're killing babies. Heck, we know we're killing adults when it comes, for example, to "euthanasia." Or inconvenient humans.

So let's cut the crap and look in the mirror, okay? And toss the "what if?" stuff in the trash where it belongs.