Abortion is arguably one of the most controversial issues discussed in the world today as the laws and ideas of right or wrong are argued by just about everyone. Many believe abortion should be considered murder and that you are taking the life of an innocent human being. Others believe that it is up to the mother, and in many cases that of the father as well, to make that decision. In this paper I will argue the secular view of the pro-life argument. Many Pro-Life supporters argue that life begins at conception, but their arguments are often not fact based. The moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum a new entity comes into existence. A “Zygote” is the name of the first cell formed, the earliest stage of the human embryo. Some questions raised are is it human, is it alive, is it just a bunch of cells or is it an actual organism, a “being?” The zygote is composed of human DNA and other human molecules, so it is undeniably human.
The human zygote also has a genetic composition that is absolutely unique to itself. It is different from any other human that ever has, and ever will exist, including that of its mother. For this reason I will discredit the Pro-Choice argument that abortion is merely involving a woman and her body. (Marjorie A. England, “What Is An Embryo?” in Life Before Birth, Marjorie A. England (London: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996).) (Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1998) The DNA includes a complete design” guiding not only development but also hereditary attributes that will appear throughout their entire life from hair and eye color to personality traits. It is also quite clear that the earliest human embryo is biologically alive. It fulfills the four criteria needed to establish biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.
Finally, the definition of an organism, that is, a human being, is a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry of the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependent organs. (See The American Heritage Medical Dictionary: “The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.” The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, reprint edition (May 7, 2008), s.v. “Life.”) The human zygote meets this definition entirely.
Once formed, it initiates a complex sequence of events to ready it for continued development and growth. If uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, it will proceed seamlessly through development, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, aging, and eventually ending with death. By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a high level of organization. The scientific evidence is quite plain. At the moment of fusion of human sperm and eff, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive and an individual organism. A living, and fully human, being.