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St. Thomas Aquinas:
It is sometimes claimed that Thomas Aquinas believed that the unborn did not acquire a soul until several weeks after conception. This is not true. Aquinas believed that the unborn had a soul (a rational, human soul) from the time it was conceived. However, following Aristotelian [contemporary] science, he (and a few other Western writers) thought that conception was an extended process that did not finish until forty or ninety days into the pregnancy: "The conception of the male finishes on the fortieth day and that of the woman on the ninetieth, as Aristotle says in the IX Book of the Animals" (Aquinas, Commentary on III Sentences 3:5:2).

St Thomas

Aquinas was correct that the unborn receive their souls at conception; he was merely mistaken on when conception was finished, due to the lack of available science. As modern medicine has shown, conception in humans occurs almost instantaneously, as soon as the sperm and the ovum unite. This joining may occur as soon as twenty minutes after the marital act.[https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm…]

Summa Theologiae Article 8:
Whether one is guilty of murder through killing someone by chance?

Reply to Objection 2. He that strikes a woman with child does something unlawful: wherefore if there results the death either of the woman or of the animated fetus, he will not be excused from homicide, especially seeing that death is the natural result of such a blow.[http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3064.htm#article8]

zygote

Science Says the Zygote Is a Human Being:
"Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception). "Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being."
[Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

"Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression 'fertilized ovum' refers to the zygote."
[Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N.
 [Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

When Do Human Beings Begin?
'Scientific' Myths and Scientific Facts

by Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.--
The question as to when the physical material dimension of a human being begins is strictly a scientific question, and fundamentally should be answered by human embryologists not by philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, politicians, x-ray technicians, movie stars, or obstetricians and gynecologists.


To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte usually referred to as an "ovum" or "egg"), which simply possess "human life", to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced.
[See:https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/wdhbb.html
]

The Politics and the Law: Roe v Wade
In Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court defers to science as to when "personhood" occurs. Roe v Wade says: "Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. 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. [410 U.S. 113, 160] "
[See: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/410/113.html]

So, in the Roe v Wade decision, Justice Blackmun in the majority opinion for the Supreme Court admits the court is not competent to determine when, during gestation, human life truly begins.

Under the Constitution, Roe v Wade is an Indefensible Interpretation
The Court's decision to declare abortion legal under Constitutional right to privacy has no meaningful foundation in constitutional text, history, or precedent when those qualifications are objectively described and construed. The Texas law, which was challenged in the Roe case, sought only to protect innocent life of the unborn. The Court construed to declare the constitutional "right to privacy" (which is not even mentioned in the constitution) as superior to the right to life clearly guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment.

As scientific consensus is now quite firm on "personhood" of the individual from the moment of conception to natural death, it appears that the Roe v Wade decision is in total disregard of the fourteenth amendment.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."


©2017-Jim Barger - Brushy Creek, Texas

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