Sources for Secular Pro-Life’s “Deconstructing Three Pro-Choice Myths” speech.

Today at the University of California, Berkeley, Pro-Life San Francisco is hosting the Let There Be Life Conference, which is designed to promote pro-life unity and education among Californians. Secular Pro-Life will be doing a speech on three pro-choice myths, including where those myths come from and exactly why they are misleading. We hope to post video of the speech in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, here are the sources used to create the presentation.

Myth #1:
We don’t know when human life begins.
and embryology textbooks and relevant quotes:
  • Scott Gilbert,
    Developmental Biology, 11
    th Edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer
    Associates, 2016: “Fertilization accomplishes two separate ends: sex (the
    combining of genes derived from two parents) and reproduction (the
    generation of a new organism).”
  • T.W. Sadler,
    Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott
    Williams & Wilkins, 2006:”Development begins with fertilization,
    the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the female gamete,
    the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”
  • Erich
    Blechschmidt, Brian Freeman, The Ontogenetic Basis of Human Anatomy: The
    Biodynamic Approach to Development from Conception to Adulthood, North
    Atlantic Books, June 2004: “We talk of human development not because
    a jumble of cells, which is perhaps initially atypical, gradually turns
    more and more into a human, but rather because the human being develops
    from a uniquely human cell. There is no state in human development prior
    to which one could claim that a being exists with not-yet-human
    individuality. On the basis of anatomical studies, we know today that no
    developmental phase exists that constitutes a transition from the
    not-yet-human to the human.” & “In short, a fertilized egg
    (conceptus) is already a human being.”
  • Keith L. Moore,
    The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition.
    Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003: “Human development begins at
    fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm
    (spermatozoon development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to
    form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent
    cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” And
    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an
  • Scott Gilbert,
    Developmental Biology, 6th Edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates,
    2001:“When we consider a dog, for instance, we usually picture an adult.
    But the dog is a “dog” from the moment of fertilization of a dog egg by a
    dog sperm. It remains a dog even as a senescent dying hound. Therefore,
    the dog is actually the entire life cycle of the animal, from
    fertilization through death.”
  • Ronan R.
    O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology & Teratology, 3rd
    Edition, New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001: “Although life is a continuous
    process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary
    circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when
    the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the
  • Ida G. Dox, B.
    John Melloni, Gilbert Eisner, The HarperCollins Illustrated Medical
    Dictionary, 2001: “An Embryo is an organism in the earliest stages of
  • Human
    Embryology, William J Larsen, 3rd Edition, 2001: “In this text, we begin
    our description of the developing human with the formation and
    differentiation of the male and female sex cells or gametes, which will
    unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new
  • William J.
    Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone,
    1998: “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of
    definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of
    zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic
  • Bruce M.
    Carlson, Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York:
    McGraw-Hill, 1996: “Almost all higher animals start their lives from
    a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization
    represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the
  • Keith L. Moore
    and T.V.N. Persaud. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth
    Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993:
    “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr.
    zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The
    common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.”
  • Clark Edward
    Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New
    York: McGraw Hill, 1976. “It is the penetration of the ovum by a
    spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to
    the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization
    and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”
  • E.L. Potter and
    J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago:
    Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975: “Every time a sperm cell and ovum
    unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live
    unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”
  • J.P. Greenhill
    and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of
    Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974: “The term conception
    refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of
    procreation from which a new living being develops. It is synonymous with
    the terms fecundation, impregnation, and fertilization.”
  • Leslie Brainerd
    Arey, Developmental Anatomy, 7
    th Edition. Philadelphia: Saunders,
    1974: “The formation, maturation and meeting of a male and female sex cell
    are all preliminary to their actual union into a combined cell, or zygote,
    which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual. The penetration
    of the ovum by the spermatozoon, and the coming together and pooling of
    their respective nuclei, constitutes the process of fertilization.”
Secular Pro-Life posts:
Myth #2:
Most or all late-term abortions are medically necessary.
Interviews of late-term
abortion doctors:
Secular Pro-Life posts:
Myth #3:
Abortion restrictions don’t stop abortions.
Secular Pro-Life posts:

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