Abortion - Part 2
What Has Modern Technology Revealed About
When Life Begins?
Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon
How has modern technology shown that
human life begins at conception?
Recent developments of medical technology
such as sound imaging and fetoscopy have permitted us to
look into the womb and observe fetal
development even from the point of conception. In terms
of what we knew before, the difference is like observing
a personís reflection in a pond compared to observing
his reflection in a mirror. Modern fetology has given us
an amazing and incredible look at the growth of the tiny
individual in the motherís womb.1
Dr. Bernard Nathanson discusses how
advances in modern technology caused him to radically
alter his pro-abortion beliefs. Once known as "the
abortion king" because of his prominence in the field
and his presiding over 60,000 abortions,2 he
is today a vocal opponent of abortion because recent
scientific advances in fetology forced him to accept the
fact that the fetus was really a living human being:
technology has been really the apparatus which has put
the window in the womb. This was the first time we
really could see the baby. Up till that time we never
could. I mean, X-rays were static. You couldnít really
use X-rays to prove or disprove much of anything about
the fetus. But ultrasound gives us these very clear,
precise pictures, allows us to stimulate the child,
see how it breathes, see how it moves, see how it
swallows, see how it urinates, see how everything
thereís been a new advance in this ultrasound
technology which is known as transvaginal sonography.
Itís very exciting. [Before] the pictures were great,
but they donít compare to these picturesóitís valuable
for very early pregnancies.
We can see
the gestational sacóthe little sac of the pregnancy at
two weeks following fertilization now with
transvaginal sonography. [We] can see the heart
beginning to beat at around 3 [to] 3-1/2 weeks now. So
this has pushed back or updated a great many of our
data about the unborn baby.
And I donít
doubt that there are new technologies coming even now;
for example, color ultrasound which is going to give
us even clearer, more vivid pictures and increase our
knowledge about the unborn patient here.3
The reason why modern science has come to
the conclusion that human life begins at conception is
because sound imaging and modern fetology have supported
this judgment dramatically.4 Every scientific
law known (e.g., biogenesisóthat is, life comes only
from life) and every scientific fact (e.g., at
conception a genetically new and unique human individual
exists) demands this conclusion.
All of this is why the origin of human
life cannot be defined at any other point (e.g.,
viability) than conception.
1 John C.
Fletcher, Mark I. Evans, "Maternal Bonding in Early
Fetal Ultrasound Examinations," New England Journal
of Medicine, February 17, 1983.
N. Nathanson, "Deeper into Abortion," New England
Journal of Medicine, Nov. 28, 1974, p. 1189.
Transcript, The Ankerberg Theological Research
Institute, Is Abortion Justifiable? televised
program, Jan. 1990, p. 7.
4 Norman L.
Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and
Issues (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1989), p. 140.
Copyright 2006, Ankerberg Theological Research Institute