Steven Aden

On Friday, June 24, a federal court temporarily suspended portions of Indiana’s House Bill 1210, which contained a provision aimed at defunding abortionist organizations, like Planned Parenthood, within the state. And although this suspension was disappointing, other aspects of the court’s decision were a boon for pro-life groups in Indiana and the whole nation. The reason is because the court upheld a key portion of the bill that requires women seeking abortions to be informed that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.”

In other words, human physical life begins at conception.

And the news gets even better: the court’s ruling came after Lee M. Silver, expert witness for Planned Parenthood, argued that “‘human physical life’ is meaningless” because “it is not a scientific term.”

Silver, a Princeton University professor and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told the court he had considered the opinions of Catholic theologians and bishops who believed life begins at conception but rejected them because they were belief-based. He said the position was “an understandable religious position” but not a scientific one. (Silver was not pressed to explain why he believed it was belief-based.) Silver told us much about the hole which many scientists have dug and fallen into regarding abortion, the beginning of life, and the nature of being human, when he said, “The scientific community does not accept the ‘fact’ that a fertilized egg, let alone a fetus, is human physical life.”

So Silver willingly jumps from the claim that scientific consensus does not recognize human physical life as beginning at conception, and he bolsters the point by claiming the scientific community also rejects life as present in “a fetus.” (For those of you who are not accustomed to talking in the covert jargon the left uses to cover its tracks, “a fetus” is a baby: it’s what you were before your mother went into labor.)

Therefore, Silver’s expert testimony boiled down to this: “human physical life” does not begin at conception nor is it present in a baby.

Wow, science has come a long way hasn’t it?

Fortunately, the court did not concur with Silver’s arguments, ruling instead that Indiana could insist that an expectant mother understand that they already nurture a human being in the womb, so that, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, she will “apprehend the full consequences of her decision” so that she may not “come to regret [her] choice to abort the infant life [she] once created and sustained.” This is great news for everyone who enjoys “human physical life,” but especially for those who remain unseen and vulnerable in their earliest stages of life.


Steven Aden

Steven H. Aden is senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom (www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org).