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  • Writer's pictureDale Dieleman

44 Quotes From Medical Textbooks Prove Human Life Begins at Conception

The following 44 quotes were part of an article from Life

According to the American College of Pediatricians, scientists and doctors have known for “millennia”:

1. “The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception — fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.”

2. Dr. Jasper Williams, former President of the National Medical Association, Newsweek, 1973, page 74: “Human life begins when the ovum is fertilized and the new combined cell mass begins to divide.”

3. Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics, 1974, pages 17, 23, J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Freidman: “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops. It is synonymous with the terms fecundation, impregnation, and fertilization … The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

4. Human Development: The Span of Life, 1974, page 28-29, George Kaluger: “In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.”

5. Medical Embryology, 3rd edition, 1975, page 3, Jan Langman: “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

6. Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, 5th edition, 1976, page 943, Douglas Considine: “At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun.”

7. Atlas of the Body, 1980, page 139, 144, Rand McNally: “In fusing together, the male and female gametes produce a fertilized single cell, the zygote, which is the start of a new individual.”

8. Obstetric Nursing, 1980, page 136, Sally B Olds: “Thus a new cell is formed from the union of a male and a female gamete. [sperm and egg cells] The cell, referred to as the zygote, contains a new combination of genetic material, resulting in an individual different from either parent and from anyone else in the world.”

9. Human Embryology, 1982, Clark Edward and Corliss Patten: “It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

10. Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth, 1983, page 40, Landrum B. Shettles: “Zygote is a term for a newly conceived life after the sperm and the egg cell meet but before the embryo begins to divide.”

11. Human Life and Health Care Ethics, vol. 2, 1985, James Bopp: “Every human being alive today and, as far as is known scientifically, every human being that ever existed, began his or her unique existence in this manner, i.e., as one cell. If this first cell or any subsequent configuration of cells perishes, the individual dies, ceasing to exist in matter as a living being. There are no known exceptions to this rule in the field of human biology.”

12. Essentials of Human Embryology, 1988, page 2, Keith L. Moore: “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).”

13. Essentials of Human Embryology, William J. Larsen, 1998: “In this text, we begin our description of the developing human with the formation and differentiation of the male and female sex cells or gametes, which will unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual. … Fertilization takes place in the oviduct … resulting in the formation of a zygote containing a single diploid nucleus. Embryonic development is considered to begin at this point… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

14. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, 7th edition, 2008, page 2, Keith L. Moore: “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm…. represents the beginning of a human being.”

15. Human Embryology & Teratology, 2nd edition, 1996, pages 8, 29, Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller: “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed. … The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”

16. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition, 1996, page 3, Bruce M. Carlson: “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”

17. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th edition, 1998, pages 2-18, Keith L. Moore: “[The zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

18. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition, 2003, page 2, Keith L. Moore: “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

19. NATURE, January 28, 2010: “The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”

20. CELL TISSUE RES., March 20, 2012: “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”

21. REPRODUCTION, October 1, 2012: “The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”

22. Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard Medical School, quoted by Public Affairs Council: “…it is scientifically correct to say that human life begins at conception.”

23. Prenatal Care, US Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Div 1990: “Your baby starts out as a fertilized egg…For the first six weeks, the baby is called an embryo.”

24. In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005 (Prenatal Development Video): “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

25. The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic (Video), 2006: “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

26. DeCoursey, R.M., The Human Organism, 4th edition McGraw Hill Inc., Toronto, 1974. page 584: “The zygote therefore contains a new arrangement of genes on the chromosomes never before duplicated in any other individual. The offspring destined to develop from the fertilized ovum will have a genetic constitution different from anyone else in the world.”

27. Thibodeau, G.A., and Anthony, C.P., Structure and Function of the Body, 8th edition, St. Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishers, St. Louis, 1988. pages 409-419: “The science of the development of the individual before birth is called embryology. It is the story of miracles, describing the means by which a single microscopic cell is transformed into a complex human being. Genetically the zygote is complete. It represents a new single celled individual.”

28. Scarr, S., Weinberg, R.A., and Levine A., Understanding Development, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1986. page 86: “The development of a new human being begins when a male’s sperm pierces the cell membrane of a female’s ovum, or egg….The villi become the placenta, which will nourish the developing infant for the next eight and a half months.”

29. Clark, J. ed., The Nervous System: Circuits of Communication in the Human Body, Torstar Books Inc., Toronto, 1985, page 99: “Each human begins life as a combination of two cells, a female ovum and a much smaller male sperm. This tiny unit, no bigger than a period on this page, contains all the information needed to enable it to grow into the complex …structure of the human body. The mother has only to provide nutrition and protection.”

30. Marcello et al., Fertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL., 2013: “Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”

31. F Beck Human Embryology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985 page vi: “It should always be remembered that many organs are still not completely developed by full-term and birth should be regarded only as an incident in the whole developmental process.”

32. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology fifth edition, Moore and Persaud, 1993, Saunders Company, page 1: “Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment.”

33. Prenatal Care, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Division, 1990: “Your baby starts out as a fertilized egg… For the first six weeks, the baby is called an embryo.”

34. Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud Before We Are Born – Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, W.B. Saunders Company, 1998. Fifth edition, page 500: “The zygote and early embryo are living human organisms.”

35. T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11: “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

36. Dr. Morris Krieger “The Human Reproductive System” p 88 (1969) Sterling Pub. Co: “[All] organisms, however large and complex they might be as full grown, begin life as a single cell. This is true for the human being, for instance, who begins life as a fertilized ovum.”

37. Turner, J.S., and Helms, D.B., Lifespan Developmental, 2nd ed., CBS College Publishing (Holt, Rhinehart, Winston), 1983, page 53: “A zygote (a single fertilized egg cell) represents the onset of pregnancy and the genesis of new life.”

38. Lennart Nilsson A Child is Born: Completely Revised Edition (Dell Publishing Co.: New York) 1986: “…but the whole story does not begin with delivery. The baby has existed for months before – at first signaling its presence only with small outer signs, later on as a somewhat foreign little being which has been growing and gradually affecting the lives of those close by…”

39. Dr. Michael R. Egnor, professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, Evolution News, 2022: ““Obviously, life begins at conception. With the fusion of the sperm and the egg, a new human life begins. This is rudimentary biology — it has been settled science since the early 19th century. From a biological standpoint, it can’t be denied.”

40. Marsden et al., Model systems for membrane fusion, CHEM. SOC. REV. 40(3):1572 (Mar. 2011): “The fusion of sperm and egg membranes initiates the life of a sexually reproducing organism.”

41. Sander Lee, Ph.D., Sherley, M.D., Charlotte Lozier Institute, “Handbook”: “During week 1 (days 0 to 6), an egg (oocyte) and sperm fuse effectively, and a nascent human being is conceived by a process called fertilization. The single-celled nascent human being is called a human zygote.”

42. Dr. Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of Down syndrome chromosome: “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention; it is plain experimental evidence.”

43. Maureen Condic, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah, 2017 interview: “And in the modern age, we have very detailed observations, confirming beyond any reasonable doubt, that the cell produced by sperm-egg fusion (the zygote) is a human organism; i.e. a human being.”

44. Antonio Giraldez, of the Department of Genetics at Yale University, 2019 interview about research published in Developmental Cell: “Finding these key factors involved in genome activation serve as the critical first step towards our understanding of how life begins [at fertilization].”

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