Guest Column

Science shows the humanity of preborn children — so why are scientists ignoring it?

Ohio, fertilization

A recent guest commentary written by a highly respected researcher and National Medal of Science recipient referred to the March for Science as a “march in support of science as a force for fairness and justice and as a defining dimension of our community’s character.” Her point was clearly that scientific research and discovery are important and that they impact communities, presumably in a positive manner.

However, scientists collectively across the nation seem conspicuously silent regarding the abundant scientific research and discovery pertaining to embryology, biology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology that irrefutably show that preborn babies are human. Even the definitions of these fields and associated scientific terms themselves make this clear.


Embryology is defined as the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development. An embryo is defined as an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, in particular human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization. A fetus is defined as the unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.


Biology is defined as the scientific study of life. Genetics is defined as the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development. Biology teaches us that living cells grow and multiply. Dead cells do not replicate and multiply into more cells to become parts of anatomy such as a brain, a heart, the liver, the skin, muscle, and bone.


Anatomy is defined as the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms. Human anatomy is one of the basic essential sciences of medicine. If an embryo or fetus has bodily structures (and both do), then we can study the anatomy of that human being.


Our genetics, our DNA, determines whether we are a human, a bird, or a vegetable such as a zucchini. All genetic definition of who a preborn baby will be is determined at fertilization, including eye color, hair color, nose shape, hand shape, dimples, even when we will go bald – every bit of genetic information that makes each person a distinct and separate human being.


Physiology is defined as the way in which a living organism or body part functions. The physiology of pregnancy teaches us that the placenta and umbilical cord are what separates the preborn baby from the mother, because the baby has a different and separate circulatory system from the mother’s. If the preborn baby were simply part of the mother’s body and not a separate human being, why would he need a separate circulatory system? The circulatory system (or cardiovascular system) permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients, hormones, and blood cells to and from the cells in the body to provide nourishment, to fight disease, to stabilize temperature and pH, and to maintain balance or equilibrium. If the preborn baby were only part of the mother’s body, he could simply grow inside one of her body cavities like a tumor without any barriers such as the placenta and umbilical cord to protect the two of them.

While developing in utero, the embryo or fetus receives only three things from his or her mother – somewhere to live, food, and oxygen. If this preborn baby isn’t human at his beginning, then this would mean that where we live, what we eat, or what we drink can somehow transform something from being non-human to human.

How can science be a “force for fairness and justice and a defining dimension of our community’s character” if scientists collectively across our community and nation willingly ignore the sciences of embryology, biology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology, all of which clearly prove that every baby is a separate and distinct human being? Is ignoring the intentional killing of 60 million babies since abortion was legalized fair or just to them? How is allowing hundreds of thousands of babies to be killed every year in the U.S. alone saying anything positive about our character as a community and a nation?

If scientists in our community and beyond truly wish to be a force for fairness and justice and a defining dimension of our community’s character, they must speak up in defense of the overwhelming scientific evidence that proves that abortion is the intentional termination of living human beings.

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