Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, public interest in early human development has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, in pursuit of their radical abortion agenda, many of those supplying the “factual information” about human reproduction to the general public are consulting the wrong people and broadcasting outright lies.
This human development hoax was on full display last week when pro-abortion talk show host Phillip McGraw, better known as “Dr. Phil,” dedicated a second episode in as many months to showcase what he and his guests personally believe about abortion and when human life begins.
Dr. Phil and his guests plied the audience with false science by vigorously and repeatedly denying that science has determined when human life starts. The episodes featured proof by emphatic assertion, vague references to the varied arbitrary opinions of non-experts, and a supposed lack of “consensus” in the broader “scientific community” and “scientific literature.”
However, in an unexpected turn, Dr. Phil inadvertently raised one extremely salient point during the first segment. In response to a guest’s query about his view on when human life starts, he correctly noted that his opinion about the nature of human embryos is irrelevant: “Well, it doesn’t matter what I think, I don’t care what I think.” He’s right. Dr. Phil holds a doctorate in clinical psychology — i.e., he is not an expert in the study of the development of the new individual human being.
Ask a True Expert: Human Embryologists
Genuine academic expertise matters. The biological science of human embryology is the only science that specializes in when a human being begins to exist and his or her early development. Thus, the experts to ask about when human life starts are academically credentialled Ph.D. human embryologists and others professionally experienced in the field.
Needless to say, Dr. Phil failed to make this vital point. Rather than using his “irrelevance” to call attention to what human embryologists have to say and empowering accurately informed decisions about unborn children, he continued by disingenuously excluding the experts.
The host opted to perpetuate Roe’s absurd myth that when human life starts remains a mystery. As such (the argument goes), each of us is free to impose our own opinions on the humanity of the unborn child. The truth is that there has long been a consensus among scientific experts around the world about when a human being begins to exist. The “controversy” is among lay people or scientists or physicians with no academic credentials or expertise in human embryology.
Gold Standard of Human Embryological Research
The objective, internationally acknowledged, empirical scientific facts (not theories or opinions) of the biological science of human embryology are instituted in the Carnegie Stages of Human Embryonic Development. The 23 Carnegie Stages are the gold standard of human embryological research.
For more than 80 years, this highly specialized branch of biology has documented the start of human life. Additionally, the Carnegie Stages are constantly reviewed, refined, and advanced for education and scientific research purposes by a global committee of experts, and every genuine human embryology textbook is professionally required to contain the full Carnegie Chart. Carnegie Stage 1 documents the biological process of fertilization and marks when a human being begins to exist.
Advances in science, medicine, and technology have only reaffirmed and illuminated this crucial fact. Human embryologists know that at fertilization there is no longer “just” a cell but a whole, new, individual, integrated, and living human organism, and that after fertilization, he or she proceeds to develop as the same human being throughout the subsequent stages of development (thus, the human being and the human person are one and inseparable). They know this the way that scientists know bone is bone or blood is blood, by using the methods and tools of science.
Some falsely claim that various developmental milestones (e.g., onset of the heartbeat, sentience, birth) elevate the status of the new human being. But biological development occurs throughout a human being’s life and these “biomarkers” do not change the nature of the already existing human being. The human brain is not fully developed until one’s early 20s. Would this biological fact indicate that prior to that age there is not a human being or a human person present?
Top Democrats Deny Science
Many Americans are oblivious (willful or otherwise) that scientific experts know the life of a new individual human being begins at fertilization. Some of America’s political leaders are the least knowledgeable. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi relentlessly demonstrate their gross ignorance — or worse, denial — about this supremely significant data point.
This science should be celebrated or at least acknowledged, not denied. Replacing the objective scientific reality of human biology with highly partisan, subjective narratives is contributing to a barbaric loss of human rights and dangerous trends in society.
Millions upon millions of human lives have already been destroyed by abortion, and pro- abortion Democrats want to pass a new, more extreme law that expands abortions on demand for any reason, eradicating all state-level restrictions and imposing an unlimited “right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in all 50 states. This corruption of human embryology clearly poses a genuine existential threat to humankind.
State and federal public policies and laws on abortion ultimately rest on the answer to one scientific question: When does a human being begin to exist? Science, and specifically the Carnegie Stages of Human Embryonic Development, prove that a human embryo is an individual human being from fertilization. This should be the starting point for deriving valid personal positions and determining legitimate public policies and laws about unborn children in America, especially in the post-Dobbs era.