Quoting Jasify:" No they don't. "
Then why is it in embryology textbooks?
"Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."
"A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo)."
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition
. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
"[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being."
Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition
. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.
"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte."
Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition
. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
and in other places,
"Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."
The Biology of Prenatal Develpment
, National Geographic, 2006.
"It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."
Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
Harvard University Medical School
"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
Professor Hymie Gordon
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."
Dr. Watson A. Bowes
University of Colorado Medical School
Not to mention that the zygote/embryo/fetus fits into the criteria for life.
I'm not going to debate pro-life/pro-choice because, frankly, I've got seriously mixed emotions about it... but even some pro-choice advocates accept that the fetus has life and abortion brings about fetal death... The value of the life is debatable, obviously, but it is life.