Skip to content
New Titles Parenting & Families - Pregnancy & Childbirth

$19.95 Regular price
Unit price

The Abortion Controversy: An Embryologist's Perspective

ISBN: 9798987072332
Binding: Paperback
Author: Bruce M. Carlson
Pages: 156
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 02/28/2024

The abortion issue persists as one of the most socially divisive issues of our time. Without taking sides, the author, a well-known human embryologist, presents in clear, understandable language the embryological science that has been used to support or detract from stated positions on the issue.

Beginning with a chapter that underscores the importance of defining terms and asking incisive questions about when personhood is achieved, the text moves on to a well-illustrated summary of the important aspects of human embryological development, both normal and abnormal, as they relate to the abortion controversy. This is followed by a chapter on embryo technology, ranging from in vitro fertilization to cloning, and how these developments complicate the arguments on either side of the controversy. Closing chapters focus on the arguments used by both sides of the discussion and how these arguments are or are not supported by scientific facts. The text closes by saying that science alone cannot provide definitive support for either side of the abortion controversy and that ultimately any position on the question of abortion is based upon belief.

The text chapters are followed by an appendix that provides a detailed timeline of embryonic development from fertilization to birth, a glossary and a list of questions for discussion groups.


Bruce Carlson, MD, PhD, has long been professionally involved in the abortion controversy as both an expert witness and the author of a major textbook on human embryology, Human Embryology and Developmental Biology, now in its seventh edition. Since retiring after a 40-years as a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School where he was Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and later Director of the Institute of Gerontology, he has been writing books that translate science into language understandable to those without a formal scientific background. He has written over 20 books, mostly in the areas of embryology, regeneration, muscle biology, and anatomy and has edited another 15 symposium volumes and translations. In conducting his research, he has lived for extended periods in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Finland and New Zealand. In a former life, he was a fish biologist and has written several books on the natural history of lakes and aquatic invasive species.