In a shocking display, a New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria, D-Bernalillo, calls a model given to him of a 12-week preborn baby “offensive” and heatedly shares how he “threw it in the trash.”

He made the comments as the assembly was preparing to vote on a bill that would keep abortions legal until the moment of birth, which is critical as New Mexico has one of the few late-term abortion facilities. No surprise, Candelaria voted “yes.” Sadly, the measure, which was rejected in a vote two years ago, passed.

“Madam president, I got that same prop from Right to Life or whatever, and I threw it away. Threw it right in the trash, right in the trash. Why? It’s offensive. Why is it offensive? Because not everybody in our plural democratic society believes that life begins at conception.” State Senator Candelaria said to the legislature. “And just because you believe that morally or your religion says so, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to. We’re a democracy.”

His statements were stunningly ignorant. It’s not just religious or “moral” people who believe life begins at conception. It’s scientists.

In a series of quotes on Princeton University’s website, which were apparently from an older pro-life group connected with the campus, all confirm what should be obvious, that scientific textbooks acknowledge that life begins at conception.

In Life Before Birth, the author states, “Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.” Though the book is no longer in print, it was published by the University of Leicester, not the Vatican or Right to Life.

“Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception)…Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.” This was included in the publication Essentials of Human Embryology by Dr. Keith L. Moore.

It is also no longer in publication, but Dr. Moore was a professor of anatomy and a faculty of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary states, “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”

But those publications are somewhat older, so what do scientists say now?

According to one study, conducted by Steven Andrew Jacobs of the University of Chicago, “A sample of 5,502 biologists from 1,058 academic institutions assessed statements representing the biological view ‘a human’s life begins at fertilization’…Overall, 95% of all biologists affirmed the biological view that a human’s life begins at fertilization (5212 out of 5202).”

It appears that the statement “life begins at conception” isn’t informed by religion or morals but is a scientific fact agreed upon by the vast majority of biologists, including those who are pro-life and those that are pro-abortion.

His statements seem even more offensive since he’s a man, who will never become pregnant or deal with the loss of a miscarriage, which is devastating for the vast majority of women no matter how far along they are in their pregnancy.

So, Senator Candelaria, with all due respect, when do you think life begins? Is it birth? Is it after six months of pregnancy? Three months of pregnancy? When the baby kicks?

No matter what his answer is, science tells us the truth. Life begins at conception.