In "Gillan: Law prevents change to birth certificate for gay couple" (May 11, The Guam Daily Post), we learn of a lesbian couple who is suing the government of Guam for attorney fees related to their efforts to have both their names on the birth certificate of a baby that one of the women gave birth to after the child was conceived via "in vitro fertilization."

Aside from the obvious issues in the case, particularly whether the child itself has any rights, there is the matter of the process of "in vitro fertilization," which usually involves the destruction of human embryos.

It is not a matter of "religion" that life begins at conception. It is science. This excerpt from an article in states it plainly:

"Through this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg in an attempt to achieve fertilization. The eggs are monitored to confirm that fertilization and cell division are taking place. Once this occurs, the fertilized eggs are considered embryos."

Cell division is evidence of life. Dead cells don't divide. And in this case, an embryonic human (it's not an ear of corn or an elephant) has already begun to grow, which is why the article goes on to say that "the fertilized eggs are considered embryos."

Since multiple embryos are usually implanted in the "host womb," there is the probability of what calls "Additional risks:"

"The chance of a multiples pregnancy is increased with the use of fertility treatment. There are additional risks and concerns related to multiples during pregnancy including the increased risk of premature delivery and low birth weight."

Sometimes there are two, three, five or more "multiple pregnancies." WebMD and other consumer-type online medical sources do not go into it but, generally, the "healthiest" is selected and the others are removed.

In addition, there is the matter of what happens to those embryos that are not selected for implantation into a host womb. WebMD explains:

"Any embryos that you do not use in your first IVF attempt can be frozen for later use ... If you do not want your leftover embryos, you may donate them to another infertile couple, or you and your partner can ask the clinic to destroy the embryos."

One is certainly free to decide whether this is right or wrong. But one is not free to decide that what is destroyed is not a developing human being. It's just science.

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