Denying humanity of preborn children is the very definition of ‘junk science’

8 weeks gestation (Photo credit: Lunar Caustic), abortion

This weekend, pro-lifers gathered in our nation’s capital for the annual March for Life, remembering the Roe v. Wade decision, which was decided on January 22, 1973 — exactly 46 years ago. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people attended the March this year. The theme was “Unique From Day One,” highlighting that science is not incompatible with the pro-life movement; in fact, it is science that bolsters many pro-lifers’ beliefs.

It didn’t take long for pro-abortion articles to begin appearing attacking this theme. Rewire, formerly called RH Reality Check, published a list of six “facts” about abortion to ostensibly “prove” that the pro-life movement is anti-science, calling it a “co-opting” of science. “Knowing that the myths promoted at March for Life may drive another year of policymaking, correcting this narrative before Friday’s event is important,” Laura Huss wrote. “In the list below, the evidence about abortion appears first. Because leading with the real science—the science backed by evidence, and supported by leading experts all over the country—is the best way to drown out the misinformation.”

Julie Tulbert took to Media Matters to likewise try to argue that the pro-life movement is anti-science. Lev Facher and Megan Thielking wrote for Stat News claiming that scientists have disproved pro-life claims.

These are but a few examples, and interestingly, they all have one thing in common: they ignore the scientific facts of fetal development itself. In all of their debunking efforts, none of them acknowledge the science that matters, and that is the science proving the inherent humanity of preborn children.

READ: First trimester babies aren’t blobs of tissue — they’re amazingly complex

It’s a scientific fact that life begins at conception, something that has been confirmed by numerous medical experts and written in medical textbooks. In fact, scientists have been able to pinpoint the exact moment the new life has been formed.

The Endowment for Human Development (EHD) is a non-profit organization that is committed to neutrality on controversial bioethics issues, like abortion. Their mission is to apply “the science of human prenatal development is increasingly recognized as an indispensable and unique way to improve children’s health, enhance their development, and prevent certain birth defects and chronic diseases”. The EHD lays out numerous facts proving that the preborn child is a human being, even at the earliest stages of development, including:

  • The heart begins beating just three weeks after fertilization.
  • Kidneys are formed by five weeks.
  • Brain waves can be measured as early as six weeks.
  • Preborn babies respond to touch by seven weeks.
  • Hiccups can be seen at seven weeks.
  • By eight weeks, the baby’s dominant hand (right or left) is determined.
  • Preborn babies begin sucking their thumbs at nine weeks.
  • At 10 weeks, they have their own unique fingerprints.

These are just a handful of facts from the first trimester alone. They are from an unbiased source that has multiple doctors and scientists serving on its boards. This is science, plain and simple, and to ignore it is to ignore the humanity of the preborn child. It’s notable that none of the pro-abortion sources acknowledge this; instead, they focus on everything but the facts that the March for Life used to create this year’s theme, that each child is unique from day one.


Charles Camosy is a board member at Democrats for Life, as well as an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University. His work has appeared in numerous medical journals. In a recent interview with the National Review, he spotlighted what he calls the “throwaway culture” that allows abortion advocates to, among other things, ignore the science of fetal development to forward their own agenda.

“Vulnerable populations that are most inconvenient for those who have power are often branded with certain words or phrases that ‘thingify’ them so they can be more easily used and/or discarded as mere objects or trash,” he said, pointing out a recent fetal-personhood series published by the New York Times, which allowed him to respond after he criticized them for not including a more diverse viewpoint. “I decided to highlight the offensive and disingenuous use of using certain kinds of language — phrases like ‘clusters of cells’ — to refer to prenatal children,” he explained. “This is the classic methodology of what Pope Francis calls ‘throwaway culture.'”

READ: It’s a scientific fact: Human life begins at fertilization

While abortion advocates continually try to dehumanize preborn children, the science is winning out, especially with younger Americans. As MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said:

You are seeing poll numbers move on abortion for banning abortions after 20 weeks. Why? Because for the past decade, younger Americans have been going in and they have been seeing 3-D imagery where they can look into the womb. If some activist said, ‘Your child is a lump,’ I must tell you, I’ve had four kids, I’ve never once had a doctor go to me, ‘we’ve got your lump, let me show you your lump, look at your lump’s profile.’ This is an example of science, technology changing that is going to change the politics of abortion. This is an issue that culturally is going to change. Americans, younger voters are going to become more conservative on abortion because they see their child very early on in the womb.

It’s not junk science to acknowledge the humanity of preborn children. That much is indisputable, from a scientific standpoint. But for someone to excuse the act of abortion, it’s clearly necessary to deny this, because admitting that these are human beings killed every day means admitting that abortion is an inexcusable atrocity. Denying this may be a defense mechanism, but it doesn’t change the truth. Abortion kills human beings, and with the death toll exceeding 60 million in the United States alone since 1973, and it needs to come to an end.

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