Earlier this year, National Geographic’s ran a cover story called, “The War on Science.” In the feature article, writer Joel Achenbach addressed a number of issues about which many people dispute the received scientific wisdom.
Ranging from the moon landing to evolutionary theory, Achenbach detailed why skeptics refuse to accept what to many scientists seems established fact. Personally, I’m with Achenbach on the moon landing, vaccinations, and GMOs; on climate change and evolutionary theory, not so much.
My views on these matters are immaterial to a much different and urgent scientific issue, one Achenbach neglected and which regularly receives at best spare coverage in the popular media: The scientific case against abortion.
There is no question that human personhood begins at conception. Not just human life – any cell in the body represents “human life” – but a person, developing and unformed, but no less human than you or me.
Even National Geographic itself, in its beautiful DVD, “In the Womb,” demonstrates vividly that it is an unborn child that begins developing at conception. Her DNA is unchanged from the moment when the sperm and egg fuse – the moment of conception.
Of course, champions of abortion refuse to acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child. Referring to the child as a “fetus” provides a veneer of detachment from the humanness of that which is being suctioned out of or dismembered within a woman’s womb.