I remember the shock I felt when I first read these words in the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision:
“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”
I could not believe that anyone could deny the obvious: life begins at conception.
Just 5 years later, the first child conceived through in vitro fertilization was born. While I recognize the several ethical problems with this procedure, I thought that at least this obviously proved that life begins at conception since the process was monitored from the beginning. Unfortunately, not to the pro-abortion movement that then pivoted to we don’t know when human personhood begins.
Ironically, presidential candidate Hilary Clinton recently revealed the hypocrisy of this pivot when she said “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights” on NBC’s Meet the Press TV show. (Emphasis added)
Flash of Light
But now researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a flash of light that occurs at the moment of conception! To see the video of this phenomenon, go to the link at LifeNews.com.
Here is the science behind this:
“The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters and egg it triggers calcium to increase which releases zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up my camera microscopes.
Over the last six years this team has shown that zinc controls the decision to grow and change into a completely new genetic organism.
In the experiment, scientists use sperm enzyme rather than actual sperm to show what happens at the moment of conception.
“These fluorescence microscopy studies establish that the zinc spark occurs in human egg biology, and that can be observed outside of the cell,” said Professor Tom O’Halloran, a co-senior author.”
Dr. Teresa Woodruff, a professor at Northwestern said, “We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking. It was remarkable.”
An Ethical Downside
Regrettably, the scientists say that the intensity of the flash of light also appears to indicate the egg’s quality and the embryo’s future health. This could allow more in vitro fertilization embryo selection with the destruction of embryos thought to be of lesser “quality”.
Therefore, instead of celebrating this physical proof of conception, Dr. Eve Feinberg, who co-authored the study, said
“Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues… If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.”
However, real heartache comes with infertility, desperate medical procedures to obtain a baby by any means possible, and the termination of life both inside and outside the womb.
But in the meantime, we can still rejoice in the apparent discovery of a true “spark of the Divine”.