The Problem

The Problem

When does a human being begin?

Many people don’t know the basic ‘facts of life’ – or even that these facts exist.

the problem

According to recent polls, nearly half of all men and women can’t accurately answer the question:

“When does a human life begin?”

Younger demographics are the least informed – 22% of 18-29 year olds think that a human being begins “At birth” and 17% are “Not sure”.


Source: YouGov survey (April 3 – 6, 2015)

Decisions about sexual reproduction are serious and have serious consequences.


By their 19th birthday, 7 in 10 teens have had intercourse.


Emergency “contraception” use has increased to 5.8 million women, and use is most likely among young women aged 20-24 (about 1 in 4).


Nearly half of pregnancies among American women in 2011 were unintended (2.8 million), and about 4 in 10 of these were terminated by abortion. Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among women aged 18-24.


Abortion rates are highest among younger demographics. In 2014, more than half of the women who had abortions were in their 20s.

This means that people are making big decisions
that can have big impacts, based on big misconceptions.



Data Pollution

Inaccurate information about human sexual reproduction and embryology is widespread, and has contaminated public opinion and perception. Scientists are aware of the real facts, and wonder why the rest of us are so uninformed.


Data Inaccessibility

Accurate information is not easily accessible, and is often difficult to understand. It may appear highly complex, technical, or tedious to the layperson. Most people don’t read Human Embryology papers and textbooks for fun in their free time, and historically this has been the only way to gain an informed perspective.


Bad Reputation

The science of human embryology has unfortunately become mixed in with controversial social, political, and financial agendas. Outside interests have made it so that trying to discuss the science surrounding these issues is seen as crossing some privacy barrier or is “off limits“.

What if everyone knew and understood the following key points?

  • Anything that happens after the beginning of the process of fertilization (first contact of the sperm and the oocyte/“egg”, about one week before implantation) involves both you AND another whole, individual human being, who is not just a “bunch of cells”.
  • This new, whole and individual human being (a Carnegie Stage 1a human embryo) could begin to exist (and pregnancy could begin) within hours of sexual intercourse.
  • And, fertilization occurs in the fallopian tube, not the uterus or “womb” – normal pregnancy begins when the new human being begins to exist in the fallopian tube.
  • Isn’t this important information to consider before making critical health decisions?

Take our Science Quiz and see how much you know! Science Quiz

Scientifically accurate educational resources can help people make better, safer decisions about human sexual reproduction, and positively impact relevant health trends (e.g., teenage sex, unintended pregnancy, abortion). Contend Projects wants to be part of the solution. Our vision is a world where everyone understands the basic scientific facts of when a human being begins, and is empowered to make accurate, fully informed decisions. See Our Approach for more about Contend.

Donate now to help Contend spread the scientific news. Give