CNN Fails Science Class With Medically Inaccurate “Fertilized Egg” Title

Today CNN wrote and article titled, “Mississippi gov. supports amendment to declare fertilized egg a person.”

What is the problem with that?

Well there is no such thing as a fertilized human egg. Once a human egg is fertilized, it is no longer an egg but rather called a human zygote or human embryo.

According to the educational non-profit, Endowment for Human Development:

Pregnancy begins at conception with the union of a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg to form a single-cell embryo.

For more information about human development, check out their Prenatal Summary page.

25 thoughts on “CNN Fails Science Class With Medically Inaccurate “Fertilized Egg” Title

  1. Spiltting hairs a bit, don’t you think? At least they’re passing personhood laws for the unborn. Call it a fertilized egg, embryo, zygote, or make it simple…baby. 🙂 Whatever you call it, they’re making sure people can’t deny it life for convenience!


    1. Brandy, “they” in the case of this article CNN, a news media agency, and with the slant of their reporting, it is pretty clear they disagree with the amendment and would like their readers/viewers to share their opinion. Hence the reason why they use the term “fertilized egg”, so as to shed a bad light on the amendment and those who support it.
      The amendment does not make any reference to “fertilized eggs”, nor would Governor Barbour ever refer to a newly conceived human as a “fertilized egg”. The only ones who would choose to use the term are those who wish to make this amendment seem ridiculous. How telling that they have to use improper terminology to do so. It only verifies that using the Truth would not make it ridiculous.


    1. They might not be publicizing it because saying that Amendment 26 will not ban the birth control pill is tantamount to saying that hormonal contraceptives are not abortifacients, and contributors at this site have taken the position that the pill is an abortifacient.  Since LiveAction is demonstrably indifferent to intellectual coherence and openly contemptuous of its readers’ intelligence,however, that’s just a wild guess.

      LiveAction bloggers say the Pill does cause abortion:


      1. The pill has three components.  #1 It represses ovulation.  #2 It changes the mucus in the women’s cervix, making it more difficult for the sperm to travel the distance to fertilize the egg.  #3 It changes the lining of the uterine wall, making it difficult for the embryo to attach himself/herself.  In the first two above, it is not an abortificient, although a new life could have been prevented from coming into existence.  In #3, a human life has already begun.  Have you fallen for the pro death propaganda and believe conception is when the embryo attaches himself/herself in the womb? 


      2. 1. Please scroll down to the bottom of your page and read the last sentence.  This will hopefully answer your questions.

        2.  The science there is actually limited, and there are pro-life gynecologists on both sides (with studies to back up their claims):

        So in short, there isn’t enough evidence to criminalize the hormonal contraceptive drugs (yet perhaps good reason not to use it).


  2. The simple fact is that this info is completely wrong and totally demonstrates the authors ignorance.  “Fertilized Egg” is medically accurate, as even a pro-life med-student reveals in a reply to a Live_Action Facebook thread on this link.

    “I’m in medical school and pro-life in all circumstances. Fertilized egg is a perfectly appropriate term, however CNN was obviously going for impact with the title of their article: “Mississippi gov. supports amendment to declare fertilized egg a person.” When used in this context the term is designed to ridicule and mock the Mississippi government. However, in the scientific community it is a fine term to use. Other terms would also be acceptable like zygote, human zygote, or conceptus. Fertilized egg seems to be the most dehumanizing of the options.”


    1. Facebook is a reliable source for scientific information?

      Man, I didn’t know what I was missing.  Many thanks.


  3. This is probably more accurate than changing fertilzation to when an embryo attaches himself/herself to the uterine wall, so you don’t have to call an abortificient what it really is, and that is an abortificient.  How many women lose a child and don’t even realize it?  The pro death forces are excellent at deception.


    1. Fertilization has not been said to be when the embryo attaches inside the womb by any side in my observation. The pro-aborts want to call that conception. So there is deception of words at work but fertilization is not a term that I have seen them try to play with.


      1. Thanks for the correction.  Both words mean “the union of sperm and ovum” but conception is the one the pro-aborts are/have changed.  Good observation.


  4. I guess your face was pretty red when you found out that the sites you called “leading medical authorities” barely two weeks ago (WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins) all failed science class.  Not only do all three of them use the term “fertilized egg,” but the Mayo Clinic doesn’t even call it an “embryo” until the third week after conception.

    Will LiveAction be demanding an apology from itself for using sites that show such a media bias? Or at very least, for insulting the intelligence of its readers?

    Johns Hopkins:,P01509/
    Mayo Clinic:
    Mayo Clinic:


  5. Maybe you can explain why
    even though the eagle is NO LONGER AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, its eggs are still
    federally protected while they’re still in the mother eagle; once they are
    laid; through the 35-day incubation period and beyond through hatching. In
    fact, even the nonliving eagle egg shell is protected by the federal law. We’re
    talking a $100,000 fine! Shouldn’t a human baby have at least the same
    protection under the law?



  6. I’m the medical student who posted an earlier critique about this article. Fertilized egg is in fact a medically accurate term. I think it’s really important to get our facts straight! How are we supposed to change people’s hearts if we provide them with false information? I think this article should probably be retracted entirely. Everyone makes mistakes, including liveaction, but it’s important that you guys acknowledge your mistakes rather than sweeping them under the rug (i.e. deleting the originally post in the facebook group) and hoping people will not notice.

    I personally have much more respect for people/organizations who own up to their mistakes. 

    Thanks for all the great work you do for the pro-life cause.


    1. I see your point, and this really looks like a semantics problem more than anything else.

      Egg can refer to one of three things:

      – The culinary item.  A human zygote obviously fails here.

      – An ovum.  This is by definition a haploid gamete, so the zygote again fails (though to further complicate things, ovum is literally Latin for egg).

      – An organic vessel inside which the young of an animal first develops.  Here, a zygotic placental animal could be considered a very reduced, unicellular, microlecithal egg.  So in the very loosest sense of the word, a zygote is a fertilized egg.  As Ms. 112 not-so-kindly pointed out below, respected professionals in the medical field do use the term.  These include OB/GYNs in favour of Amendment 26:

      With that being said, although “fertilized egg” is not a medically inaccurate term that would make one fail science class, it definitely isn’t the best one.  The mass media are obviously going for shock value, as it is far easier to criticize an “egg as person” amendment than an amendment that would grant legal personhood to every human following his/her earliest biological beginnings.  So there is really nothing wrong with calling them out on this, though I do agree that the headline is over the top.  The language that we use has a significant effect on how people see the issue.

      Still, I do think Live Action could have better spent this time publicizing their latest video and refuting their opponents’ arguments.  Time is limited, and nitpicking the media coverage isn’t going to make more people vote for Amendment 26 on Tuesday.


    2. When does being a fertilized egg end? Would it be accurate to say that adult humans are fertilized eggs? By the way I saw at the bottom it says, “Not all opinions expressed necessarily reflect the position of Live Action.”


  7. It appears Live_Action removed the posted-thread on this article I also linked to below.  Seems quite unfair because I and others took the time to comment on the thread but now appears the comments and discussion are lost!  🙁  My personal FB page is in case someone replies to this I may not be aware.


  8. How many women lose a child and don’t even realize it?

    If a fertilized human ova is something you consider a ‘child’ than any woman who was fertile and had sex with someone who was fertile on a regular basis has lost ‘children’. Indeed the majority of zygotes do not implant and are naturally sloughed off in the menses. The zygote/blastocyst mortality rate is naturally quite high. If you folks really believe that fertilized eggs are ‘people’ you would be holding funerals for used tampax.

    The pro death forces are excellent at deception.

    Right, and you’re all about science.


    1. Sorry, there is a big difference between a normal menstrual cycle open to life and taking an abortificient to prevent the embryo from attaching in the uterus.  Some women are pregnant but the embryo was unable to attach to the uterine wall because the chemicals she is taking.  Medicine calls them conta (opposed) ception (to conception), but it is one big lie to women, because in many cases conception has already taken place.  Women are misled, and many are unaware that a new life had begun, until others educate them to the true nature of contraceptives.


  9. Let’s organize a COMBOX ACTION TEAM! 😀


    Regardless of how the Mississippi Personhood election turns
    out today, there will be an online media onslaught of news articles spreading
    lies and misinformation.  GREAT! This is
    our opportunity to educate the public on the TRUTH!


    Google “Personhood” every day and let’s fill those
    comboxes with the FACTS!


    Here are some good links to find quotes and link to:





    Biological Criteria for Human Life:


    Conception from rape:




    Let’ pounce while we have the audience!


    HINT (Make a word doc with some well written responses so
    you can copy and paste them to different articles.)


  10. “No Col. Sanders, YOU are wrong!”
    You are arguing semantics, not science.  the science indicates that once fertilized, the egg is a single cell for several hours.  It becomes a zygote after about 12 hrs.  Stop embarrassing yourself and remove this nonsense article!



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