In 2008, in the lead-up to the presidential election, then-Senator Joe Biden declared that a human’s life begins at conception. In 2015, he once again affirmed his view that at “the moment of conception is a human life and being”. However, last week—after the Court used Texas’s 6-week “Heartbeat Law” to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of legal access to previable abortions—he denied it: “I respect them — they — those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all. I respect that. Don’t agree, but I respect that.”
The president’s denial of the leading biological view on when a human’s life begins, “the fertilization view”, is part of a larger effort of supporters of abortion to discredit and disregard pro-lifers as misogynists who want to tell women what to do with ‘their bodies’. Their narrative falls apart if they admit the humanity of the preborn because then it would be clear that those in the pro-life movement seek to protect preborn humans, not control women.
Consider a recent Salon piece on the recent amicus brief submitted by biologists to educate the Court on the science on when a human’s life begins. It discussed the international study that found 96% of 5,577 biologists from 86 countries affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization. In one breath, the author claims that “biology does not determine when human life begins” because that question can “only be answered by appealing to our values”; yet in the next sentence, he says “[p]erhaps biologists of the future will learn more”.
It is beyond me how it can only be answered through values but that biologists of the future could learn something that would change that; nor is it clear what they need to still learn, as the fertilization view has been the leading view since an embryo was first discovered in the 1800s. People online noticed the flaws of his article and argument, and they roasted him.
The article got “ratio’d” on Twitter, which means there were far more tweets about the article (1282) than likes (48). A Twitchy article was published on the online response to the article, and Senator Ted Cruz even retweeted it: “For Leftists, When Our Politics Differs From Actual Science…We Follow Our Politics!”
At Illinois Right to Life, we are a leader in promoting the science on when a human’s life begins. In fact, on WhenDoesLifeBegin.org, you can find the hundreds of scientific, legal, pro-life, and even pro-abortion sources that affirm the humanity of the preborn that we have catalogued.
Some abortion supporters, including our Nation’s commander-in-chief, will continue to deny that life begins at conception because they feel they cannot convince Americans to support abortion as a form of legal homicide. And they are right, as one’s belief on when a human’s life begins is the best predictor of their position on legal abortion access. In fact, “[statistical] models suggest that a feminist atheist who recognizes a fetus as a human is more likely to support abortion restrictions than an anti-feminist Catholic who believes a human’s life begins at birth”.
This is why the work we are doing is so crucial, and why we must all constantly beat the drum of the humanity of the preborn. It is how we can, and will, not only win Illinois—but also America—for life!