Stick to science when arguing abortion

Denise Murray’s letter to the editor once again shows the total disengagement of rational thinking from the anti-abortion crowd (Herald, Aug. 20). Many people believe that stuff. If you repeat a lie long enough, people take it as the truth.

The anti-abortion crowd says life begins at conception. Actually, it begins long before that. A fertilized egg is alive in the same sense as every egg, sperm cell and blood cell in your body is alive. If a fertilized egg were to die just after conception, it would be the same as if the egg were never fertilized. A fertilized egg is not a human life any more than a white blood cell in and of itself is not a human life. But the fertilized egg has the potential to become a human being. It gradually becomes more complex.

A sperm cell has half the genes of the father. An egg cell has half the genes of the mother. A fertilized egg has all the genes necessary to produce a human being, but it is not a human life. By the way, a white blood cell also has every one of your genes, such as your hair color genes.

The fertilized cell will quickly start to divide. It will become a hollow sphere of cells. Is it a human life? No, not yet, but it will be. It becomes complex and develops organs. When is it really a human? The law says it must have a viable chance of living outside the womb to be a human.

Although each and every cell in our bodies is alive, no one cell is a human. That is an inarguable fact, although a fertilized egg has started on the path to become a human. The religious zealots (and the gullible) will say a fertilized egg will immediately obtain a soul at conception. But if anyone wants to write in a rebuttal, please limit it to the scientific facts.

Dave Jensen