- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2013

The article “Judge blocks fetal heartbeat abortion ban” (Web, July 22) includes a report on a personhood amendment passed by the North Dakota legislature that voters will decide on in November 2014. Opponents of the measure, which will amend the state constitution to say “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected,” say it would force a single religious view — that life begins at conception — on everyone.

The scientific fact is that a new individual life begins at conception. This is not a religious tenet; it is a biological fact, first adduced in 1855 when David Storer of Harvard Medical School said, “Life begins at conception.” In 1871, the American Medical Association said it is a “scientific fact that human life begins … at conception.” In his 1993 work, “Practical Ethics,” second edition, pro-choice professor Peter Singer wrote: “There is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” Alan F. Guttmacher, a onetime president of Planned Parenthood, wrote in his 1933 book, “Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation,” that human life begins when the sperm fertilizes the ovum: “This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge.”

Abortion proponents appear ignorant or dishonest when they argue against the humanity of the preborn, but when they acknowledge that reality and persist in their position of “abortion on demand,” they reveal their willingness to knowingly kill innocent, defenseless human beings.

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring