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Redefining Human Life — The Right Way

For Immediate Release. January 31, 2002Although symbolic, the Bush administration should be commended for its announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson that it was re-designating the term fetus to mean “an unborn child” to allow low-income women access to prenatal care. 

Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy said, “It is time for the government as well as the Supreme Court to realize that, at conception, a genetically distinct human being is brought to life — a fact that is well established.”

When comparing the fertilized and unfertilized human ovum, there is an important qualitative difference.  Unless the sperm and egg participate in the fertilization process, both will die and individually neither has the capacity for independent life.  The zygote is its own entity, genetically distinct from both the mother and father, once fertilization has taken place.  All the required information for self-directed development is possessed by the newly conceived individual.  And given time and nourishment, it will proceed to grow in the normal human fashion.  Often pro-choice advocates say that the unborn child is merely part of the mother’s body.  This is simply untrue.  The unborn child possesses separate circulatory, nervous, and endocrine systems as well as a genetically distinct  make-up from the time of conception.  The sperm and egg separately represent only the potential for a new human life prior to conception.  However, once fertilization has taken place, the newly conceived individual is best described as an actual life. 

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy

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