A priority of the Daily Blog, as next Tuesday’s elections approach, is to provide resources to aid in making good ballot-booth choices.

And along with posting items intended to guide committed Catholics who know and accept Church teachings, we’re also featuring material to help them engage constructively in discussions with others who don’t share those Catholic perspectives.

Here’s a resource that could prove immensely helpful in that regard: The Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person’s new White Paper, entitled “When Does Human Life Begin?”

The White Paper marshals the incontrovertible scientific evidence that a new and genetically complete human being is created at the moment of fertilization, when the human egg contributed by its mother fuses with the sperm cell contributed by its father to form a unique human zygote.

The paper is written by Prof. Maureen Condic, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine and senior fellow of the Westchester Institute.

Why is the scientific evidence that’s assembled in the White Paper so persuasive for discussions about the life issues? Because it proves that when pro-lifers of any religious or political persuasion make the case for respecting the dignity of human life from the moment of conception, their arguments rest on an unshakeable scientific foundation.

Once this science is communicated to Americans who haven’t been aware of it, they are led to re-examine their position on issues like legal abortion and embryonic research. Recognition of the reality that every life starts at conception leads inexorably to soul-searching about whether any motive can justify the deliberate destruction of millions of innocent human beings.

The pro-life answer to that question is a resounding “no,” of course. But why expect someone else to agree, if he or she hasn’t had the opportunity to become properly acquainted with the scientific evidence that underpins this pro-life conclusion?

So if the opportunity arises this weekend, suggest that your pro-choice friends make it a priority to visit the Westchester Institute’s website and review its White Paper about when human life begins, before they cast their votes on Tuesday. You could be helping to save some lives.

— Tom McFeely