Dr. Irving rightly explains that defining human life as beginning at "the moment of fertilization" includes only those people who came into existence at the union of a sperm and oocyte (ovum). However, scientists and fertility clinicians bring many human beings into existence through asexual reproduction quite apart from the merging of a sperm and ovum. Scientists "split" the youngest embryonic children, breaking off cells, to cause twinning that brings a second child into existence, and fertility clinics will then destroy any unneeded embryos. Dr. Irving has cataloged many asexual methods of human reproduction including splitting embryos and cloning, methods which produce living human beings which the personhood movement must protect by love and by law.
Dr. Irving criticizes Colorado's Amendment 48 because it addresses sexual but not asexual reproduction. CRTL concurs and recommends that the personhood movement nationwide accept Dr. Irving's moral and scientific conclusions and adopt fully protective legal wording to the effect of: "defining 'person' as any human life from the moment of sexual or asexual reproduction, including from fertilization."
CRTL disagrees with Dr. Irving only in her characterization that our initiative wording provides an "exclusionary clause… denying human personhood to all categories of asexually reproduced human beings." Rather, Colorado's personhood Amendment 48 uses the word "include," that the term "person… shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization." This definition would not exclude cloned or in vitro twinned children. Other than this legal disagreement, CRTL thanks Dr. Irving for her courage and insight, and asks the personhood movement to adopt her biological, moral and legal argument.
Not only is this public statement a historic first in my years in the pro-life movement, but it is also among the most cogent and humble I have ever seen. It is so refreshing to realize that there are pro-life organizations that do want to get the message right, down to the last word! And, as Dr. Irving pointed out in her reply,
As you review what I am sharing with you and realize how wonderful it is that we are finally at a place in the pro-life movement – at least in Colorado – where egos and agendas have been replaced with a sincere search for truth and accuracy, pray that all organizations find the same peace in their hearts by seeking the full scientific truth and setting aside preconceived notions. What we just witnessed between Colorado Right to Life and Dr. Irving is monumental.
Please join me in praising God and thanking Him! Through this recent chain of events, we are moving ever closer to the real answer to ending the killing of preborn children in America.