* In 1981 (April 23-24) a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings on the very question before us here: When does human life begin? Appearing to speak on behalf of the scientific community was a group of internationally-known geneticists and biologists who had the same story to tell, namely, that human life begins at conception - and they told their story with a profound absence of opposing testimony.
Dr. Micheline M. Mathews-Roth, Harvard medical School, gave confirming testimony, supported by references from over 20 embryology and other medical textbooks that human life began at conception.
* "Father of Modern Genetics" Dr. Jerome Lejeune told the lawmakers: "To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion ... it is plain experimental evidence."
* Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, added: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
* Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor, University of Tennessee, testified: "The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception."
* Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, concluded, "I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty ... is not a human being."
* Dr. Richard V. Jaynes: "To say that the beginning of human life cannot be determined scientifically is utterly ridiculous."
* Dr. Landrum Shettles, sometimes called the "Father of In Vitro Fertilization" notes, "Conception confers life and makes that life one of a kind." And on the Supreme Court ruling _Roe v. Wade_, "To deny a truth [about when life begins] should not be made a basis for legalizing abortion."
* Professor Eugene Diamond: "...either the justices were fed a backwoods biology or they were pretending ignorance about a scientific certainty."