So Republican Senator Marco Rubio is in the public consciousness right now for some comments he made about the scientific consensus being that life begins at conception. This is true, but I'll get there in a moment. The Washington Post, taking Rubio at his word, decided to take him up on that challenge. Or at least they think they did. Now, Rubio's comments came after a question he was given regarding climate change. It is beyond the scope of this article to talk about that topic or Rubio's comments regarding it.
Now, it is scientific fact that human life begins at fertilization. Geneticist Jerome LeJeune, in a Tennessee divorce court in 1989, called in as an expert for a debate over frozen embryos, remarked "...I would say that science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man." In fact, embryologists consistently agree that human life begins at fertilization. In 1933, Alan Guttmacher (past president of Planned Parenthood) wrote the following: "We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge" (from Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation, New York: Viking Press, 1933, p. 3, emphases his). In fact, from the official Senate report from the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to the Senate Judiciary Committee S-158 (Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981), it was stated: "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." A prominent physician points out that at these Senate hearings, "Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even a single expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Only one witness said no one can tell when life begins" (Landrum Shettles and David Rorvik, Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence of Life Before Birth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), p. 113).
So yes, there is overwhelming scientific consensus that human life begins at fertilization. I have actually asked several pro-choice people to find me just one embryologist who disagrees and no one so far has been able to meet my challenge. And to be clear, I'm talking about embryologists, the experts on human embryos. Not scientists like PZ Myers who is either just not a very good biologist or is just incredibly dishonest.
In order to "look at the science" on the abortion issue, Philip Bump, the author of the Washington Post article, reached out to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This was the statement they returned to him: "Government agencies and American medical organizations agree that the scientific definition of pregnancy and the legal definition of pregnancy are the same: pregnancy begins upon the implantation of a fertilized egg into the lining of a woman's uterus. This typically takes place, if at all, between 5 and 9 days after fertilization of the egg -- which itself can take place over the course of several days following sexual intercourse."
Now I don't know what specific question Bump used to ask regarding this. But notice that ACOG didn't answer the question regarding when life begins, only when pregnancy begins. Why is this? Bump asserts it's because there really is no scientific consensus on when human life begins, but that's obviously not true as I have shown above. It's because ACOG is a pro-abortion organization. So they have a vested interest in using flowery language, such as when pregnancy beings, to muddy the waters so that they don't give the impression to the general American public that they are supporting the deaths of unborn human children. They were being purposefully vague and misleading.
I have no problem with the definition of pregnancy beginning at implantation. But even if this is the case, that doesn't prove that the unborn are not human before that point. There is nothing about the act of implanting in the womb that would suddenly bestow humanity to the unborn child. But even if we take the ACOG's statement, this would still show that since pregnancy begins roughly a week after fertilization, all abortions past that point do, in fact, kill a human being.
So I applaud the Washington Post's desire to check the science for themselves. What I disprove of is that apparently they have no idea how research is done. Considering their shoddy research in this area, how can we possibly trust any of their other articles have been thoroughly fact-checked?