On Saturday, May 14, a group of Catholic pro-life friends and I had a peaceful Rosary Rally near the Houston City Hall to proclaim and defend the sacred dignity of the unborn. Conversely, this was also the same day that about 1,000 pro-choice advocates had a protest at City Hall viciously defending a woman’s right to abort the unborn. In doing so, they cursed and slandered God, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, and the faithful people of God, including the Rosary group and myself. Consequently, their protest was certainly not peaceful. I mean, how could there be any peace in such a protest if the only object was to fight for a woman’s right to abort the life of her unborn human life? In advocating for this right to abort, these people had signs claiming that the basis for a woman’s right to have an abortion is that a woman can do to her body whatever she wills or desires for her bodily health. This would include aborting her unborn child. After all, according to them, the body of the unborn child is really the woman’s body, not the child’s body.
This false claim by pro-choice advocates, of course, is NEITHER reasonable NOR scientific. After all, the right reasoning of prudence, based on natural biological science, rightly judges that the body of the unborn human being is NOT the mother’s body. For this reason, a mother CANNOT rightly claim, during any stage of human development, that the body of her unborn human life is her body. This means that NEITHER the body of a human zygote NOR the body of a human morula NOR the body of a human blastocyst NOR the body of a human embryo NOR the body of a human fetus is the mother’s body.
On the contrary, scientifically and biologically, the conception of an actual unborn person, through the instrumentality of his mother and father, is the first stage of human life when the male gamete or sperm fertilizes the female gamete, also called the egg. Inside this fertilized egg, a membrane forms around the male genetic material, the male DNA, thereby creating the male pro-nucleus. In this biological process, the male genetic material develops into 23 chromosomes inside the male pro-nucleus. Similarly, the female genetic material, or DNA, stimulated by the fusion of the sperm and the egg, finishes dividing, resulting in the female pro-nucleus, which also contains 23 chromosomes. As the male and female pro-nuclei form, their chromosomes unite into a single cell, thus completing the process of fertilization. This completed fertilization process in the single cell is the beginning or conception of human life.
In this single cell, called a human zygote, a unique genetic DNA personal code forms determining gender, hair color, eye color and hundreds of other characteristics of this human life. In this sense, neither the mother nor the father nor the child determine these genetic characteristics. They are determined genetically by a unique genetic personal code. As such, this unique genetic DNA code of the conceived unborn human life, including all his personal characteristics, is certainly not the code of his mother or his father, but his code alone as an actual person from conception.
In this act of human conception, the Catholic Church teaches that God Himself, the Creator, introduces the life principle of the spiritual soul that informs the biological genetic material to become an actual living being, a living image of God, called a human zygote, in the womb of his mother. Hence, this first stage of the life of the unborn human being is certainly not the life of his mother or the life of his father, but his life alone as a particular human being in himself, biologically, genetically, and spiritually.
After this first stage of human life, the human zygote, already an unborn person in God’s divine image, will develop, gradually, as a human morula and blastocyst, later as a human embryo, and finally as a human fetus. In this sense, Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium all profess that the unborn human person has a right to life, including a right to mature prenatally through all the prenatal stages of human development, that prepare him for his right to be born as an infant. In fact, only after birth, by maturing to childhood, adolescence and adulthood, can the human being rightfully develop as God’s image to know God and love God. Accordingly, there is no greater right he can receive from God than to know Him and love Him.
Friends, please pray for pro-choice advocates who are really pro-abortion advocates. Pray that they will be illumined and inspired to profess and honor the sacredness of every unborn human life from conception through all the prenatal and postnatal stages of human development. The Virgin Mary certainly professed and honored the sacred human dignity of her Son, Jesus Christ, from conception, throughout His life, as He developed as man. For this reason, all people are called to do the same, especially mothers. God help them through the maternal intercession of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the Mother of Life.
In Christ with Blessed Mary,
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.