Discussion and Debate on the Issue of Abortion and When Life Begins

ABORTION AND WHEN LIFE BEGINS 5

The issue of abortion is one that has been debated for many years.There are people who support abortion as a mother’s right andchoice. On the other hand, there are people who argue that it isimmoral to abort. The latter group argues that abortion results inthe intentional termination of human life since life beginsimmediately at conception. In the following discussion, the papersupports the argument that abortion is wrong because I feel that lifebegins at conception.

Argument

Abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy. There are manyreasons why a woman would decide to terminate her pregnancy uponrealizing that she is expectant. Some of these reasons include earlyand unwanted pregnancies, when scans reveal that a child has birthdefects, or when a pregnancy places the pregnant woman at risk.Discussions and debate on the issue of abortion depend on howindividuals respond to the question of “when life begins”.Abortion advocates argue that it is okay to abort since the procedureinvolves the termination of a fetus and not human life. The argumentis that a fetus cannot be termed as human (Farrell, 2010). On theother hand, some individuals oppose abortion because they believethat life begins immediately an egg is fertilized by a sperm(Farrell, 2010).

I feel that life begins at conception hence, resulting in myargument that abortion is wrong. According to Terzo (2013), “scienceteaches without reservation that life begins at conception”. Theauthor further explains that it has been scientifically proven thatan organism can only exist following conception, since prior toconception the organism was non-existent. From conception, the embryobecomes a new organism, which is living (Terzo, 2013). In addition,at conception, the new organism already has DNA, which is differentfrom that of the parents. This means that the organism cannot bedescribed as part of its father or mother. The fact that it has itsunique DNA, it becomes indisputably human. Thus, terminating thepregnancy through abortion equates to an annihilation of human life.

Terzo’s argument is supported by some of the globe’s well knownphysicians as well as scientists. In a testimony to the AmericanSenate committee, aimed at determining when life begins, thescientists established that human life begins at conception (Alcorn,2010). The views supporting this affirmation include the explanationthat human life is present all through from when conception occursonce fertilization happens a new human is created because everyperson’s life starts at conception and that life does not beginonce a child is born, rather at conception (Alcorn, 2010). Thescientists conclude that interrupting a pregnancy at conception, forinstance through abortion, resonates to terminating human life.

Proponents of abortion argue that human life begins at birth, andhence it is not possible to state that life starts at conception(Dougherty, 2001). However, Alcorn (2010) summarizes the findings ofan “International Symposium on Abortion”, which concluded thatthe changes happening from implantation, when an embryo is six weeks,a fetus that is six months, a child that is one week, or a grownupare merely developmental phases. The symposium also concluded thatthere is no point from when the sperm unites with the egg, until aninfant’s birth when it can be concluded that the developing childis not human life. This means that conception acts as the initialstage of human life hence, resulting in the argument that byterminating a pregnancy at conception, human life is ended.

Moore (2003) expounds on how human life starts at conception bynoting that “a zygote, fertilized egg, is the beginning of a newhuman being”. He continues to note that human development commencesat fertilization, a process that is characterized by the unity of amale gamete with the female gamete, which results in the formation ofa zygote. It is through this process that every human being’suniqueness begins. Moore’s argument is that immediately the spermunites with the woman’s egg cell a new human being is created(Moore, 2008). As a result, it is not possible to assume that becausethe new human being is invisible to the outside world, it is nothuman. As such, it is wrong to end a pregnancy at conception as itresults in ending the human life, which has already been created.

Conclusion

The issue of abortion results in differing arguments because peopleare unable to agree on when human life begins. The individuals whosupport abortion argue that the procedure is not wrong because itdoes not entail ending human life. According to these individuals, itis impossible to conclude that there is any form of human life atconception, since they believe that life begins at birth. Contrary,people who argue against abortion, respond to the question of whenhuman life begins by arguing that it begins at conception. Hence,from the moment fertilization occurs, human life is created. I agreewith the latter argument, because there is ample research to byscientists to support the argument.

References

Alcorn, R. (2010). Why life begins at conception. The NationalAssociation for the Advancement of Preborn Children. Retrievedfrom: http://naapc.org/why-life-begins-at-conception/

Dougherty, J. E. (2001). Life begins at conception. World NetDaily, 1-1.

Farrell, C. (2010). Abortion debate. New York: ABDO PublishingCompany.

Moore, K. L. (2003). The developing human: Clinically orientedembryology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Moore, K. L. (2008). Before we are born: Essentials of embryology.Philadelphia, PA Saunders.

Terzo, S. (2013). Life begins at conception, science teaches. LiveAction News. Retrieved from:http://liveactionnews.org/life-begins-at-conception-science-teaches/