From one pro-choice activist:
“Pretty soon you can imagine legislation prohibiting the washing of hands because thousands of cells are flaked off that could be turned into a stem cell and you can grow a foetus – so you’re killing a person. It’s attacks on women’s rights.”
Prof Noam Chomsky, speaking at a reception in UCD’s O’Reilly Hall. He was awarded the UCD Ulysses Medal, the university’s highest honour.
Colin Gleeson “Chomsky criticises restrictive abortion laws” The Irish Times Apr 3, 2013
In reality, biologists understand that there is a crucial difference between skin cells, which are a part of a human organism, sperm cells and egg cells, which are reproductive parts of human organisms, and zygotes, embryos, and fetuses, which are human organisms.
“Traditional ways of classifying catalog animals according to their adult structure. But, as J. T. Bonner (1965) pointed out, this is a very artificial method, because what we consider an individual is usually just a brief slice of its life cycle. When we consider a dog, for instance, we usually picture an adult. But the dog is a “dog” from the moment of fertilization of a dog egg by a dog sperm. It remains a dog even as a senescent dying hound. Therefore, the dog is actually the entire life cycle of the animal, from fertilization through death.”
Scott Gilbert, Developmental Biology 6th edition (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2000)
“Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”
Marcello et al., Fertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL. 757:321 (2013)
“Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
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