A reader and long-time friend sent me a well-thought-out article recently written by an attorney who challenged the validity of the pro-life mantra “Live Begins at Conception”.
His point was an interesting twist in the abortion debate and holds merit based on the conventional phrase pro-life folks use… ‘life begins at conception’. The fact is that both the sperm and egg are technically alive and therefore, in actuality, “life” predates conception. This approch to dismantling the pro-life stance is certainly a cute trick, to broaden the word “life” to the point that it invalidates the anti-abortion argument.
A Simple Response
The author’s premise disintegrates when one changes the phrase from “life…” to, “human life begins at conception”. And, to that point, God is clearly referring to Human Life in the Bible, not all life in its general sense (such as the egg and the sperm or a mountain goat or amoeba).
Further, some pro-choice advocates try to use less human terms such as “embryo” and “fetus” rather than the pro-life term “unborn” in order to promote the view that an unborn baby cannot be considered human until it exits the womb. Ironically, the term embryo is Latin for “a young one” and “fetus” is the Latin word for “little one” or “the young while in the womb or egg”. Clearly, these words were originally intended to connote humanity prior to birth. Typically, the baby begins as a zygote and then transitions from an embryo to a fetus in the 9th week following conception.
When God speaks about His creation of human life, there is no suggestion in the Bible that the sperm and/or the egg are sacred. It is only at the point they merge and form a zygote that everything necessary for a human baby is contained in a single entity.
Going forward, I agree that the pro-life movement should add the term “human” to their “life begins at conception” banner. However, neglecting that addition has nothing to do with God’s intent as written in His Word, to both define and protect human life at the point of its creation.
Jeremiah 1:5a “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
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