Medical Information

It is false to claim that no one knows when life begins and dishonest to argue that abortion does not kill a human being.

Abort73: The Case Against Abortion

Prenatal Development

Conception is the beginning of every life; be it animal or human. This is an established, medical and biological fact. Given this fact, we must admit that abortion (carried out successfully) always ends the life of an individual human being.


The longest reigning president of Planned Parenthood – the country’s largest abortion provider – is on record saying:

I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.

— Faye Wattleton, “Speaking Frankly,” Ms. Magazine, May / June 1997, Volume VII, Number 6, 67.


Embryology textbooks repeatedly confirm this common knowledge:

The Developing HumanHuman development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo 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.

A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

Langman's Medial EmbryologyDevelopment begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.

T.W. Sadler, Langman's Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

Human Embryology And TeratologyAlthough life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) 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 oocyte.

Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.


The United States Senate reached this conclusion in 1981:

Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.

— Report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981, 7.