Science Agrees When Life Begins

Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reposted with permission.

A couple of weeks ago, an article by National Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon made the rounds on various public media outlets with this headline: “When Does Life Begin? Religions Don’t Agree.”

Clearly, it was an attempt to warn pro-lifers against stubborn certainty on abortion. The central claim of the article is that not every religion holds that human life begins at conception.

Of course they don’t, but why would they? Religions don’t agree on all kinds of essential matters, such as if there’s a God, who is God, whether Jesus was God, or whether we are God. And that’s just about God.

If disagreement among vastly different worldviews is somehow supposed to trivialize the convictions of pro-lifers, wouldn’t the same reasoning trivialize any convictions of religious abortion supporters, too? So, what’s the point?

Interestingly enough, even though religions disagree on whether life begins at conception, science doesn’t. Or at least, every embryology textbook is clear about when life begins. Honest abortion supporters, such as Peter Singer, acknowledge as much, that abortion takes a human life.

So, should we follow the science, or not?

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