Judie Brown
Asexual human reproduction
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Judie Brown
April 23, 2014


It is imperative in today's world to have a good understanding of science and the terms frequently used. Today's commentary explains these terms and helps us understand why some of the old terminology is no longer appropriate.

Today the phrase "from the beginning of his/her biological development" accurately defines when the life of an individual human being begins to exist; the terms "conception" or "fertilization" do not.

We have learned this is so because the fact is that not all human beings begin through sexual means; some are reproduced asexually.

This concept is difficult to explain without a scientific background. I know this firsthand because my vocation is wife, mother, and grandmother, not geneticist. But it can be explained so that anyone gets it.

Follow me for a moment.

Sexual reproduction means "fertilization" – the union of a human sperm with a human egg resulting in the reproduction of a genetically distinct human being. This can happen naturally within a woman's body, or artificially in an IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ART facility (artificial reproductive technology).

Asexual reproduction simply means "without the immediate use of fertilization"; it is the combining of parts of a human sperm, egg, embryo, or synthetic genes to reproduce a new human embryo. Most of the time this happens in IVF/ART facilities. But one kind of asexual reproduction takes place naturally in the woman's body – monozygotic (identical) twinning. Monozygotic twinning, which is depicted in the diagram here, is a type of asexual reproduction, yet has been used in IVF cycles for decades. It is, in truth, a type of human cloning.

Other types of asexual reproduction take place artificially in IVF/ART facilities (e.g., cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer).

The "3-parent-embryo" now in the news involves the asexual reproduction of human embryos by several techniques (e.g., mitochondrial transfer, another kind of cloning). The mitochondria are found in the female's oocyte (egg) and if they are defective, the mitochondria from a third party's egg can be used instead. Thus three parents for one embryo!

These forms of asexual reproduction exist and do result in human beings whose lives should be protected by law and in the culture.

While some of us began to exist by means of fertilization, not all of us did. The terms "fertilization" or "conception" do not cover all human beings. Laws protecting only those reproduced by "fertilization" would not protect those asexually reproduced.

© Judie Brown

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Judie Brown: Click here

More by this author

 

Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Paul Cameron
Massachusetts proves homosexuality is learned

Eric Giunta
Review: "Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion," by Stephen J. Shoemaker

Judie Brown
A cheerleader, an abortionist, and dead babies

Lloyd Marcus
Democrats' and media's evil mission to divide Americans

Tom DeWeese
Growing government tyranny – Democrats empower it, Republicans are clueless

Jerry Newcombe
Does the Hong Kong protest have a prayer?

Matt C. Abbott
Did abortionist Ulrich Klopfer repent before his death?

Judie Brown
Faith, reason, and Pope Francis

Sher Zieve
There is nothing the Democrats won't do in order to win in 2020

Selwyn Duke
Why AR-15s are the plastic straws of the gun world

Eric Giunta
"Open borders" and the conservative tradition -- Part I: The Salamanca Scholastics

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Constructive criticism for SBC President, J.D. Greear, on homosexual sin
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites