There is nothing in the entire phenomenon of the transmission of life that deserves more to be called an event, scientifically speaking, than does fertilization. It is the natural and scientific boundary at which a new and genetically unique human individual can be said to begin his existence. We conclude, therefore, that by objective and scientific criteria the individual human being is a person throughout his [or her] entire biological development from conception, which is synonymous with fertilization, to natural death… Any other conclusion would be arbitrary, unsupportable by scientific fact or rational argument, divorced from objective reality, and based on a particular ideology, philosophy or creed.
— Dr. Sean O’Reilly, Director of the Neurobiology Research Training Program at George Washington University
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