The late moral theologian, Msgr. William Smith, often noted that all social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering. The pro-life journalist Paul Greenberg also has said that homicide is always preceded by verbicide.
Which brings us to the most recent example of how our culture will engage in virtually any kind of verbal and mental contortion in order to deny the reality of human life, and to justify its destruction.
Pending on the ballot in Mississippi today is a measure that would define the term “person” or “human person” as including “every human being from the moment of fertilization…” This is a species of “personhood” initiative that seeks to undermine or even overturn our current regime of abortion on demand, for any reason, for all nine months of pregnancy.
I don’t wish to comment on the merits of the proposal, which I frankly have reservations about.
What I’m interested in is the media coverage of the initiative. Naturally, the media is dubious about the measure, and likes to say that the bill would grant legal personhood to a “fertilized egg”.
Now, I’m no scientist, but even my high school biology tells me that there’s no such thing as a “fertilized egg”. Once a sperm and egg join together, something else comes into existence – a new human being. This is not really a controversial matter — it’s basic science.
If you have any doubts about the science of the matter, check out this “white paper” from Dr. Maureen Condic, an expert on embryology.
The media is not the only institution that likes to obfuscate about science when it gets in the way of its favored result. Our New York State Court of Appeals once was determined to treat frozen human embryos as marital property in a divorce case. In order to do so, it couldn’t admit that the embryos were human beings. So instead they declared the frozen humans to be “pre-zygotes” — a meaningless term that is absurd as a matter of science, and that only makes sense if words mean whatever we want them to mean.
It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. Here we are, people of faith, whom the media loves to accuse of being hostile to science. Yet we are the ones who point out facts that are evident from even a rudimentary familiarity with basic science. And there is our elite culture, which loves to trumpet its “faith” in scientific theories, resorting to linguistic gymnastics and wishful thinking, in order to get its favored result — denying the humanity of the unborn human being, so that it may be destroyed or experimented upon.
The life of every single one of us started at fertilization. Neither you nor I were ever anything other than a human being, from that very instant that sperm and egg joined together. And our law will continue to be absurd and unjust until it recognizes that fact.
Trust me on this one — I’m a grown-up “fertilized egg”.