Sperm and Egg Fetal Development Stages Illustration

Science to Kentucky Judge Mitch Perry: Human Life Begins at Fertilization

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Kentucky Circuit Judge Confuses Basic Scientific Facts for Religious Belief in Decision to Block State Pro-Life Laws


Washington, D.C.Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry incorrectly claimed on Friday that two Kentucky pro-life laws were based on a “distinctly Christian doctrine of the beginning of life … unduly interfering with the free exercise of other religions that do not share that same belief.”


Dr. David Prentice, Ph.D., an internationally-recognized expert on stem cell research, cell biology, and bioethics who serves as vice president and research director at Charlotte Lozier Institute, responded:


“Judge Perry’s ruling ignores not just elementary school biology but also the consensus of more than 5,000 academic biologists from more than 1,000 academic institutions around the world.  Yes, Christians believe that life begins at fertilization.  So does science!


“In fact, 85 percent of the biologists surveyed self-identify as pro-choice.  While politicians and pundits may allow their ideology to override scientific fact, the vast majority of academic biologists do not.  Science proves that life begins at fertilization.”


According to a survey conducted for the nonpartisan Brief of Biologists as Amici Curiae in Support of Neither Party filed with the Supreme Court for the Dobbs case:


  • 96 percent of the 5,577 biologists from 1,058 academic institutions affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization.
  • 85 percent of the 5,577 biologists self-identified as pro-choice, 89 percent self-identified as liberal, and 95 percent held a Ph.D.
  • 63 percent self-identified as non-religious.
  • The sample was composed of biologists from 86 countries.


Dr. James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., an award-winning stem cell biologist and associate scholar at Charlotte Lozier Institute, added:


“Religious people get to use science, too.  My mom is a devout Southern Baptist who believes that a higher power decides when new souls come into the world.  Her son is a stem cell biologist who is a Pew Biomedical Research Scholar and a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.  Her belief does not invalidate my scientific knowledge, and both our religious belief and our knowledge of scientific fact are in agreement.  We both know I was a living human being at the moment of fertilization.”


Accurate and up-to-date scientific information is available at VoyageOfLife.com, a CLI resource designed to make the documented science of human prenatal development accessible and understandable.



Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.




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