When Does Human Life Start? 5 min read

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Some supporters of abortion argue that unborn babies are not human yet, and therefore abortion is not equivalent to killing an innocent human. Afterall, if fetuses are not human, then there is no issue with abortion. 

However, this argument is neither biologically nor morally correct. 

Life starts at the moment of conception, when a human egg is fertilized by a human sperm. They are combined together and a whole and full new human life is created. This is the miracle of life. 

This new human has a distinct new DNA (46 chromosomes) which is different from his/her parents and has his/her own features like, sex, hair, eye color, height and much more. 

Now let’s examine some objections by supporters of abortion. 

Objection: sperms and eggs also have human DNA and millions of them die, why is the baby different? 

Answer: sperms and eggs have 23 chromosomes, they are called haploids. Which means they are not full human organisms. A baby is a full organism – i.e. complete 46 chromosomes. Except in rare genetic diseases where the baby may have one more or less chromosomes.  

Objection: what about adult hair cells or skin cells or even cancer cells? They all contain human DNA  i.e. 46 chromosomes too… and they grow! Are these cells considered human life? 

Answer: although they do contain DNA , they are only a part of an organ. Not a distinct human being. To know if you are dealing with a living organism or not , we apply what we call the ENT test (that is, Enviroment-Nutrients-Time). For example, if you take a puppy, and put it in the right environment, give it nutrients and food, and give it time, it will grow to be a dog of the same species as its parents.  But if you take any of these cells (sperms-eggs-hair-skin-cancer…etc) and put it in the right environment, allow them enough nutrients and enough time, will they ever grow up to be adult humans? 

Then they are living cells of organs, not a distinct human life. Not equal to a baby in the womb that Will grow up to be a human being.  

Objection: fetuses are just a “clump of cells” , they do not feel pain. So terminating them is Okay, right? 

Answer: wrong! We are all also a ”clump of cells”. So even if we are sedated (not feeling pain) and sleeping, it is still morally wrong of course to kill innocent humans! Same goes to human babies who actually science proves that they start feeling pain during pregnancy (as early as week 24). 

Objection: babies need mothers body to live, so if you remove the baby from their bodies, and they can’t live on their own, then it’s okay to let them die, right? 

Answer: wrong! Actually the baby needs the mother’s care for a long time after they are born or they die, at least 3-5 years from birth! A mother neglecting her baby and causing him to die is considered morally wrong then. Why is it different from the same baby who is just a  few weeks  or months younger? Unborn babies are living human beings that deserve life just like anyone else. 

Also, from a biological standpoint, the age of viability – i.e. the age of which the baby delivered before completion of pregnancy and still able to survive with the support of medical equipment – is actually getting shorter and shorter as science improves. Fetuses as young as 24 weeks used to be left to die before, but now we can save fetuses as young as 20 weeks. So killing a baby that can survive outside the womb is morally wrong. 

Objection: a fetus never experienced life and is unaware of being alive, so is it morally okay to terminate it? 

Answer: Not okay! Being sentient and aware is not something all human beings have all the time. For example people in coma or with dementia can be unaware. Does this make them not human? Is it okay to kill them? Actually science proves that babies as old as 18 weeks are sentient, so it is not okay to kill them. 


Objection: most biologists believe life does not start at conception. 

Answer: wrong! A recent survey that asked biologists about their views on when does life start: 15,337 biologists (96%) affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization, with 240 (4%) rejecting that view. The majority of the sample identified as liberal (89%), pro-choice (85%) and non-religious (63%). In the case of Americans who expressed party preference, the majority identified as Democrats (92%). 


Objection: I am a proud Christian, and I believe in the right to abortion, it is better for the child not to be born than live a life of suffering. 

Answer: everyone is entitled to think and identify as he/she pleases. But no one has the right to decide on killing an innocent person based on their opinion of that person’s future outlook. We can never know what life a child may have in the future. 

Even if that child becomes poor or has diseases, that does not necessarily mean that he/she will live a bad life or gives the right to terminate his/her life to anyone. Thinking that only rich healthy babies deserve to live is not a good enough reason to kill innocent babies. 

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