Analysis

Sarah Silverman again lectures pro-lifers on a subject she doesn’t understand

via Wikimedia.org

Sarah Silverman, the alleged comedian who thinks prenatal human beings are “goo” and defends Planned Parenthood with literally the same arguments Nazi scientists made to justify experimenting on Jews, is at it again.

During a performance over the weekend, she proposed a novel (and by “novel,” I mean “copied from every ignorant pro-abort trying too hard to be clever”) idea to illustrate how invasive and unreasonable pro-life legislation supposedly is…in her characteristically vulgar style, of course.

“Here’s something that I learned that is fascinating, and it’s this: Scientists have found that sperms cells smell,” Silverman said during her set. “Like I know sperm smells, but sperm cells have the sense of smell, and you know what that means: Sperm is life.”

“And you know what that means,” she said. “We’ve gotta legislate that shit.”

“What we’ll do is — it’s a real simple procedure. We take a really long needle-like basically GoPro camera and we put it down your penis hole, urethra, then down into your testicular sack,” Silverman continued. “We’re going to show you the ultrasound, so you can see the life in your balls.”

It turns out Silverman oversold the “sperm can smell” thing, according to pro-abortion Silverman fan Maxwell Strachan at the Huffington Post:

We liked this idea, so we checked out the science of smelling sperm, and there are studies going back at least to 1992 on the issue. Unfortunately, one article from 2012 out of the Max Planck Society appears to throw some cold water on the idea that sperm cells can actually smell outside of the laboratory[.]

Indeed, a look at that final article reveals that the theory was never even that sperm were living organisms, but simply that they might “function like olfactory cells” in order to fertilize an egg by following a scent trail. Of course, being HuffPo, Silverman’s entire premise being wrong isn’t a problem for Strachan, who concludes, “let’s just keep that between us, shall we? This idea is too good to pass up.”

With that out of the way, it seems we need a refresher on the mind-numbing ignorance of equating sperm cells with embryos. The only sense in which the former are alive or human is that they are comprised of organic matter and that their DNA identifies them as coming from the human species…that’s where the similarities end.

They really are just part of a man’s body, genetically and functionally, just as egg cells are part of a woman’s body. They share the DNA of the organism from which they came, and carry out one function: reproduction.

That word, organism, is what makes the difference. Once the sperm and egg cells combine, they combine to form an entity with its own DNA, that is no longer carrying out a singular function for either parent but rather growing and establishing a set of functions for its own development and survival. From fertilization onward, it—or more accurately, he or she—is not a cell but an organism, an “individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent.” As James Agresti has explained for Live Action, “human zygotes display all four empirical attributes of life” in this sense:

1. Growth – As explained in the textbook Essentials of Human Development: A Life-Span View, “the zygote grows rapidly through cell division.”

2. Reproduction – Per Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia, zygotes sometimes form identical twins, which is an act of “asexual reproduction.” (Also, in this context, the word “reproduction” is more accurately understood as “reproductive potential” instead of “active reproduction.” For example, three-year-old humans are manifestly alive, but they can’t actively reproduce.)

3. Metabolism – As detailed in the medical text Human Gametes and Preimplantation Embryos: Assessment and Diagnosis, “At the zygote stage,” the human embryo metabolizes “carboxylic acids pyruvate and lactate as its preferred energy substrates.”

4. Response to stimuli – Collins English Dictionary defines a “stimulus” as “any drug, agent, electrical impulse, or other factor able to cause a response in an organism.” Experiments have shown that zygotes are responsive to such factors. For example, a 2005 paper in the journal Human Reproduction Update notes that a compound called platelet-activating factor “acts upon the zygote” by stimulating “metabolism,” “cell-cycle progression,” and “viability.”

If Silverman genuinely wanted to cure her ignorance of the subject, she wouldn’t have to take our word for it—scores of impartial biology texts and her own allies will confirm it.

Nor is her GoPro idea equivalent to the transvaginal ultrasounds she’s satirizing. When this talking point started a few years ago, it was over a bill that never actually required the ultrasound to be administered vaginally, and before the truth became politically inconvenient, the abortion industry itself admitted that it already routinely does ultrasoundsincluding the transvaginal variety—in abortion.

So she’s not fighting for women’s right not to have their bodies violated against their will, but for the abortion industry’s right to hide from those women the images they’ve already gotten.

Sarah Silverman’s ramblings are not one iota more scientific, intelligent, or informed than the notorious “women’s bodies can shut down rape pregnancy” comments that destroyed Todd Akin’s political hopes and put pro-lifers on the defensive for months (years!) afterward. So where are all the pro-abortion leaders, commentators, and activists condemning her for embarrassing the cause, bastardizing science, and deceiving audiences?

They’re silent for the same reason pro-aborts enthusiastically accept all forms of embryology denialism: they don’t care what the truth is. The goal of unlimited abortion-on-demand is all that matters, and whether they get it through science or superstition is fine by them.

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