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Eleventh-grade winner, archdiocese's annual pro-life student essay contest

In our world, thousands of abortions are being performed every day.  These have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of babies.  These babies never get the chance to experience the world or a meaningful life.  The Pro-Life movement has arisen from this crisis in order to defend the lives of these unborn babies.  Some people claim this movement is just a ploy for them to impose their faith on others.  However, scientific developments have been ignored by this group.  These developments, such as the proof that life begins at conception and how this human has developed DNA, have strengthened the pro-life argument.

When the act of intercourse is performed, human sperm meets a human egg.  When this contact happens, a new creation known as a zygote is created.  This zygote is the first cell that has formed after conception.  It is the earliest stage of development in a human embryo.  The question arises whether this zygote is “alive” or “human” or at what stage does this becomes human.  The answer to this question is that this zygote has human DNA and other human molecules, qualities present only in humans.  This proves that at the moment of conception, a human being has been created in the womb and from that point on, it is alive.  The zygote also has the four criteria needed for something to be biologically alive: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction.  An organism is defined as a complex structure of different elements that can carry on the processes of life alone.  A human zygote agrees with this definition fully (Schwarzwalder).

This zygote that has been created in the womb has a genetic make-up that is unique to that being, different from any human being that has lived, even the mother.  This disproves the claim that the human inside a mother’s body is just another part of her body.  This DNA guides the formation of this human embryo and is a key factor in the development of its body and other vital organs.  The traits in this DNA will have a lasting effect on the human when they are born and developing into adults.  They will affect qualities such as eye and skin color, height, and face features (Schwarzwalder).

These facts about a human zygote make it clear and obvious that life begins at conception.

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