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Sen. Joe T. Miller, Published February 24 2013

Letter: Doctor’s assertions about life, conception, Creator are wrong

In his recent commentary in The Forum, Dr. Necito Montaniel of Devils Lake, N.D., said the idea that life begins at conception is wrong both scientifically and by God’s law. He knows because he is both a physician and was born and raised a Christian. His assertions are wrong.

Most Christian churches teach that life begins at conception, not at birth, as Montaniel infers. He says an embryo is not a human being because it is only a grouping of cells, and he compares a child of early development to a mole or cancer. Science, however, is becoming clearer on this subject. It is accepted fact that a human embryo has all the definitions of life by a basic scientific standard. The difference between a cancer cell and a human embryo is that one will eventually grow into a person. That is the heart of the issue.

It doesn’t take nine months for a human to gestate in a womb, but that is the optimum average. I was born two months early. Children are alive today who were born four months early. By Montaniel’s standard, any child not yet birthed is not alive.

Our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are endowed by our Creator. The Declaration of Independence states this exactly. The Constitution restates it in a slightly different manner, saying in the Preamble, “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The word “Blessings” is capitalized for the reason of its supernatural origin. Later in the Constitution our rights of life, liberty and property are further upheld. This is contrary to Montaniel’s belief that our rights are a “weird way” to “advance a selfish agenda.”

In the course of debate over when life begins and what constitutes a life, people of good sense believe that a child, be it in the womb or birthed, is precious and deserves protection. People also believe that a pregnant woman’s life is precious and deserving of protection. No bill in the Legislature would ever jeopardize a woman’s life during pregnancy.

Take the time to understand the bills. Do not simply make judgments based on narrow-minded, sarcastic letters. Give life a chance.


Miller, R-Park River, N.D., represents District 10 in the North Dakota Senate.