A Matter of Biology

Science supports the moral position of pro-lifers


Life Issues

Every age has its own set of moral contradictions.  Fallen man’s creativity never ceases to find ways to feign moral blindness.  In this regard our age is no different.  Living in an age marked by an exaggerated reliance on the empirical, morality seems to take a back seat to biology.  Despite living in such an age, the propositions of scientific dogmatism are not so dogmatic when they lead to conclusions we don’t like.  For both morality and biology have the same Author “Who can neither deceive nor be deceived” and so we should not be surprised when we find that biology confirms morality.  In fact, we should expect it and even point it out when we find it.

Abortion is one such issue where biology supports the moral position of pro-lifers.  Despite pro-choice protestations to the contrary, abortion is not an issue of faith.  We no longer need faith to tell us there is a person in the womb.  Nor for that matter do we need “personal belief” or opinion.  We have hard scientific facts that tell us that there is a human being in the womb.

Verbal gymnastics may offer a high score for the use of the term “fertilized egg,” but from the moment of conception the “fertilized egg” is biologically distinct from his or her parents and has his or her own DNA.  We say “his or her” because the conceptus already has a gender along with everything else that will mark its uniqueness.  The child has everything necessary to grow into an adult as the DNA “unfolds.”  This self-directing quality of DNA means that for growth and development all the child needs are the same things we all need: water, food, oxygen, and a healthy interaction with its natural environment.

Biology also schools us that this “healthy interaction with its natural environment” requires the intervention of both parents from the moment of conception.  It is a myth that the father merely starts the process of conception and then takes a break until the child is born.  This has led many people to falsely conclude that abortion is solely a woman’s issue because she is the one who will carry the burden alone for the nine months of pregnancy.  But recent scientific findings reveal that the father plays a biological role in gestation as well as conception.  The human body is conditioned to reject any foreign bodies through an immune response.  This includes not only viruses and bacteria but can also include a child in the womb (this is a cause of many miscarriages, the rejection of IVF children, and pre-eclampsia as well).  A study in 2001 found that a man’s semen deposited during intercourse conditions the woman’s immune system so that it will accept the child’s unique molecular structure.  Since the woman could not get pregnant or carry the child without the man, it is false to say that abortion is merely a “decision between her and her doctor.”  Fatherhood really does begin in the womb and abortion is not only a rejection of motherhood but of fatherhood as well.

When your ideology contradicts biology then you ought to rethink that ideology.  This “rethinking” of the ideological roots of abortion is happening now, and biology, a language all seem to accept, needs to be cited in support of the pro-life position.


Rob holds an MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, with a concentration in moral theology. He has a passion for spreading the joy of the Catholic Faith through teaching and writing.

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