The editors of Life magazine documented life in the womb in a 1965 cover story featuring a vivid and unforgettable photo display. “Drama of Life Before Birth” was published eight years before the justices struggled with the concept of life’s beginnings. The non-profit Liberty Counsel, which regularly defends the life of the unborn in court, pointed out the feature was “an unprecedented photographic feat for the 1960s” that documented “the stages of growth of an unborn baby from fertilization to 28 weeks.”
In the section detailing fertilization, the article states, “The birth of a human life really occurs at the moment the mother’s egg cell is fertilized by one of the father’s sperm cells.” Science repeatedly has affirmed that statement. Liberty Counsel explained the Life article was accompanied by images created through special camera equipment, including a tiny flash beam at the end of a surgical scope.
In 1994, the federal advisory board appointed by former President Bill Clinton, affirmed that ‘The preimplantation human embryo warrants serious moral consideration as a developing form of human life,’” Liberty Counsel said.
“The fact that human life begins at conception has also been confirmed by medical professionals for years. A 2014 research brief on the scientific view of when life begins, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute stated: ‘Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells. The zygote produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way. Importantly, the cells, tissues and organs produced during development do not somehow ‘generate’ the embryo (as if there were some unseen, mysterious ‘manufacturer’ directing this process), they are produced by the embryo as it directs its own development to more mature stages of human life. This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.’”
The brief said: “The conclusion that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos.”
Then there was a 2017 report from the American College of Pediatricians that determined the “predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception – fertilization.”
“At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.”
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said that despite “how much politicians try to deny it, every human life begins at conception, and medical professionals, and even Life magazine in 1965, confirm this truth.”
“It should go without saying that every unborn and born baby has value, no matter the stage or circumstances. However, the womb, which should be the safest place on earth, has become the most dangerous,” he said.