Here is an interview made by the Inquirer regarding Rep. Lagman’s statement defending the use of Contraception as constitutional.

My rebuttal in red text about when does life begins and effects of oral contraceptives.

Mr. Lagman was interviewed by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez First Posted 15:26:00 12/31/2010
Filed Under: Population, Family planning,Legislation

MANILA, Philippines—Contrary to the position of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), a staunch advocate of the reproductive health bill in Congress affirmed that life begins at conception, and not during fertilization.

As far as the Biological Society and Embryology is concerned Conception and Fertilization is synonymous.

Dr. Fritz Baumgarter, MD states:

There is no more pivotal moment in the subsequent growth and development of a human being than when 23 chromosomes of the father join with 23 chromosomes of the mother to form a unique, 46-chromosomed individual, with a gender, who had previously simply not existed. Period. No debate.

Furthermore he said:

There is no more appropriate moment to begin calling a human "human" than the moment of fertilization. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, because it would be a degradation of factual embryology to say it would be any other moment. For example, some pro-abortion zealots and even, shockingly, some disingenuous physicians claim it is the moment of primitive notochord formation (nonsense!) or, even more absurdly, the moment of implantation. (It defies sanity to claim that the implantation of a developing blastocyst onto a uterine wall defines humanity more than does the completion of an entirely new DNA map, which defines a new organism's existence).

Life begins at fertilization (conception), that moment when a sperm joins with an ovum (egg) to form one cell called a zygote. The characteristics of this new person, such as sex, eye and hair color, intelligence, etc. are determined as he or she inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent at fertilization. This tiny child then travels down the Fallopian tube into the uterus. The new human implants herself in the rich lining of the uterus and begins to draw nourishment. This process takes approximately 5 to 10 days to complete.

During this journey the miniscule child is often mistakenly referred to as a "fertilized egg", even by well-meaning pro-lifers. We must understand, however, that once the egg is fertilized it is no longer an egg, but a human being.

And to say that "size" is a determinant of humanity, of course, is an unscientific reason to deny an embryo his or her human status.  In any event, it is an embryological reality, which no embryology textbook on earth denies, that at the moment of fertilization a new human being is formed. 

Minority Leader and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said this issue has long been resolved by the Constitution and medical authorities, and that the debate on when life starts should not stunt the passage of the reproductive health bill.

“The issue on whether life begins upon fertilization or at the onset of conception has long been resolved by the 1987 Constitution and reputable medical authorities worldwide in favor of conception or when the fertilized ovum implants in the uterus,” Lagman said in a statement Friday.

Earlier, the PMA through its president Dr. Oscar Tinio bared the stand of the organization that the “beginning of life” occurred at the moment of fertilization, a view shared by the Catholic Church.

Discussions on the six bills on reproductive health at the committee on population in the House of Representatives have centered on the beginning of life, with those against the bill asserting that it starts at fertilization, when the ovum and the sperm meet. Because of this, they said that many contraceptives should be banned because they take away life.

Lagman explains that the crafting of the provision in the 1987 Constitution on the duty of the State “to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception” (Section 12, Article II) affirms that life does not begin with the fertilized ovum.

According to the Albay lawmaker, Father Joaquin Bernas, a commissioner of the Constitutional Commission, initially proposed for inclusion in the Bill of Rights the following provision: “The right to life extends to the fertilized ovum.”

However, the proposal did not materialize, and its non-adoption “unmistakably shows that the concept that life begins at fertilization was not constitutionalized for lack of concurrence from the commissioners,” Lagman said.

After this, another formulation was proposed, which read: “The State shall protect human life from the moment of conception.”

“The new draft abandoned the concept that human life begins from the fertilization of the ovum, but from the ‘moment of conception.’ It also showed that “fertilization” is not synonymous with “conception” as they constitute different stages of the reproductive process,” he added.

Just because they decided not to use the term fertilization doesn’t mean that it’s different than the meaning of conception which is an acceptable term use synonymously by Physicians.

Lagman said that since the commissioners could not determine when the moment of conception occurs, the phrase “the moment of” was also deleted and the phrase “the life of the mother” was included.

“The deletion of the phrase ‘the moment of’ before the word ‘conception’ was the result of the Commissioners’ uncertainty and lack of consensus as to the precise beginning of conception. Hence, they decided to defer to medical science the determination of the start of conception,” he said.

I strongly disagree:

Section 12 of Article II of 1987 Constitution - Declares “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government”.

How else can we explain that? Protect the life of the unborn from the time of conception. The constitution could not be clearer in declaring that there is already an unborn life from the time of conception.

Any medium that terminates life after conception is unconstitutional. 

Lagman also cited medical associations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that asserts that “conception is the implantation of the blastocyst (the egg several days after fertilization). It is not synonymous with fertilization.” That’s flawed concept!

"Reproductive rights" advocates try to confuse the issue by redefining the fact of when life begins. They often propose that a pregnancy does not begin until implantation, not fertilization, and therefore they argue that many birth control methods we call abortifacient aren’t since they act before implantation, before life, they say, exists. But according to medical texts and agreed upon by medical professionals, "life begins at fertilization.

"Similarly, he said the National Institute of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration state that “pregnancy encompasses the period of time from confirmation of implantation until expulsion or extraction of the fetus.”

“The foregoing medical definitions of conception or pregnancy show that the fertilized egg has no sustainable viability outside of the uterine wall. It has to implant in the uterus to have sustainable life and for gestation to progress or pregnancy to begin. A fertilized egg implants on the uterine wall five to 12 days after fertilization,” Lagman explained.

In a letter to the New York Times submitted February 14, 1973, noted fetologist, Dr. Landrum B. Shettles, accuses the Supreme Court of deny when human life begins.  In the letter Dr, Landrum states:

"Concerning when life begins, a particular aggregate of hereditary tendencies (genes and chromosomes) is first assembled at the moment of fertilization when an ovum (egg) is invaded by a sperm cell. This restores the normal number of required chromosomes, 46, for survival, growth, and reproduction of a new composite individual.

"By this definition a new composite individual is started at the moment of fertilization. However, to survive, this individual needs a very specialized environment for nine months, just as it requires sustained care for an indefinite period after birth. But from the moment of union of the germ cells, there is under normal development a living, definite, going concern. To interrupt a pregnancy at any stage is like cutting the link of a chain; the chain is broken no matter where the link is cut. Naturally, the earlier a pregnancy is interrupted, the easier it is technically, the less the physical, objective encounter. To deny a truth should not be made a basis for legalizing abortion." 

More experts refute;

In a 1999 article entitled: When do human beings (normally) begin? "Scientific" myths and scientific facts, Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D. gives a scientific view on the beginning of life.

She begins with some basic facts about embryos:

"To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization--the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte--usually referred to as an "ovum" or "egg"), which simply possess "human life", to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced."

She then looks at the early stages of the development of babies, pointing out that they have traits particular to themselves and to human beings:

"This new single-cell human being immediately produces specifically human proteins and enzymes (not carrot or frog enzymes and proteins), and genetically directs his/her own growth and development. (In fact, this genetic growth and development has been proven not to be directed by the mother.) Finally, this new human being--the single-cell human zygote--is biologically an individual, a living organism--an individual member of the human species."

She is not alone in her observation. William J. Larsen, whose textbooks are used on college campuses across the country states in his book, Human Embryology (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997 pg. 20):

"Virtually every human embryologist and every major textbook of human embryology states that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being."

Dr. C. Ward Kischer ,Professor Emeritus of Human Embryology of the
University of Arizona School of Medicine, 
American College of Pediatricians

Fertilization not Implantation marks the beginning of human life

Patrick Lee, professor of bioethics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics,  wrote an essay, The First Fourteen Days of Human Life, published in The New Atlantis that debates the use on non-implanted embryos for science.

From the very beginning of their article these men attack the shaky foundation of the ethics behind the use of embryos for science:

"Most people, who point to implantation as the beginning of an individual human life, offer not the slightest bit of evidence to support their claim, relying instead on an alleged intuition. But since such intuitions can be matched by contrary intuitions, and since the alleged intuitions contradict the evidence supplied by embryological science, they have no evidential weight whatsoever."

They go on to artfully walk through the developmental stages of the embryo from day one through day six. Pointing out the fact that the events that occur are only a matter of the embryo maturing rather than experiencing events that cause a radical change of direction or purpose.

In conclusion they state:

"Science has not solved every mystery of early human development. But human embryology has advanced sufficiently to enable us to dismiss certain fallacies about when a new human life comes to be. We do not doubt the good faith of those who believe that individual life begins at implantation or after the powers of twinning and fusion have passed. But arguments advanced to support these beliefs collapse under scrutiny. We must not let the desire to use human embryos in research obscure our grasp of what those embryos truly are from day 1: namely, nascent members of the human species, worthy of that fundamental respect and protection that justice demands for every member of the human family."

In an interview with the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson a notorious abortionist turned pro-life. He admitted to have participated in about 75,000 abortion procedures in his entire career.

He said:

I am personally responsible for 75,000 abortions.

This legitimizes my credentials to speak to you with some authority on the issue. I was one of the founders of the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws (NARAL) in the U.S. in 1968.

A truthful poll of opinion then would have found that most Americans were against permissive abortion.

Yet within five years we had convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to issue the decision which legalized abortion throughout America in 1973 and produced virtual abortion on demand up to birth.

How did we do this?

It is important to understand the tactics involved because these tactics have been used throughout the western world with one permutation or another, in order to change abortion law.

From Pro-choice advocate to Pro-life.

I am often asked what made me change my mind. How did I change from prominent abortionist to pro-life advocate?

In 1973, I became director of obstetrics of a large hospital in New York City and had to set up a prenatal research unit, just at the start of a great new technology which we now use every day to study the fetus in the womb. A favorite pro- abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is impossible; that the question is a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one.

Fetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy.

Why, you may well ask, do some American doctors who are privy to the findings of fetology, discredit themselves by carrying out abortions?

Simple arithmetic at $300 a time, 1.55 million abortions means an industry generating $500,000,000 annually, of which most goes into the pocket of the physician doing the abortion.

It is clear that permissive abortion is purposeful destruction of what is undeniably human life. It is an impermissible act of deadly violence.

One must concede that unplanned pregnancy is a wrenchingly difficult dilemma, but to look for its solution in a deliberate act of destruction is to trash the vast resourcefulness of human ingenuity, and to surrender the public weal to the classic utilitarian answer to social problems.


Although I am not a formal religionist, I believe with all my heart that there is a divinity of existence which commands us to declare a final and irreversible halt to this infinitely sad and shameful crime against humanity.

Mr. Lagman seemed to have stepped into the realm of playing with language to get what they wanted.

He (Mr. Lagman) also reiterated that the RH bills do not legalize abortion as it is illegal and punishable.

He also said that the Constitution does not prohibit the manufacture, distribution and use of contraceptives “because they are not abortifacient.”

“In fact, the RH bills provide that contraceptives for distribution and use as methods of family planning must be medically safe, legally feasible and effective,” he added.

 “The purpose of contraception is to prevent ovulation and/or prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, and consequently, neither fertilization nor conception occurs and no unborn is imperiled,” Lagman said.

Ok let’s get some facts regarding contraceptives: There are five known actions, three being the primary.

There are three different ways the Pill operates. #1 usually works. When #1 fails, #2 may work. When #1 and #2 fail, #3 may work. And sometimes all three fail." 

1.       It prevents ovulation by suppressing the part of the brain which signals for ovulation to begin,

2.       It changes the lining of the cervix to make it more difficult for sperm to pass through, or

3.       It prevents implantation of a newly conceived human life on the lining of the womb.

The first two are acceptable contraceptives, the third is considered abortifacient.

Two other factors in a woman’s fertility may be affected by the Pill as well by:

·         lowering the efficiency with which the Fallopian tubes propel eggs or a newly conceived human (embryo) from the ovaries toward the uterus. This can cause the embryo not to reach the uterus in time to implant successfully.

·         affecting the corpus luteum (a gland that controls the woman’s cycle and normally functions long enough to give an embryo time to implant and for the placenta to begin to support a pregnancy), causing it to allow the lining of the uterus to be shed before the embryo can successfully implant.

The problem is that, not even the Drug Companies that manufactures and distribute this product has substantial proof that the first 2 effects are guaranteed to occur even if the user is taking the pills as directed.

A disclosure on PDR and professional label indicates:

Sometimes the Pill fails to prevent ovulation and sometimes the thickened cervical mucus fails to prevent the sperm from impregnating the egg.

The fact that these methods are not 100% effective and successful pregnancies have occurred in some cases, clearly demonstrate that successful implantations can occur.

If the two effects missed to perform its expected action then the third effect takes over to execute its very purpose which is to prevent implantation of the human being (whose life began from the time of conception/fertilization) to an environment sustainable for the unborn child’s maturity to full term and is therefore considered abortifacient.  Preventing implantation causes termination of pregnancy or abortion.

Companies use the term “prevent pregnancy” which is technically, ending pregnancy.

Pregnancy starts when there is life form which begins at fertilization.

Which Mr. Lagman admits to be illegal and punishable by law.

He may reiterate all he wants but there’s overwhelming agreement among experts that life begins at the time of conception which is also synonymous with fertilization.

Next I will be blogging about my rebuttal on condom use, sexual education and real poverty alleviation.