OF HEARTBEATS AND BRAINWAVES
(Author’s note: I’m an American. I’m not familiar with Australian law, but I am, of course, familiar with legislative and constitutional processes in the US. My article below should be taken with that in mind– Les)
Throughout my adult years, I have written dozens of letters-to-the-editor that were published, and several op-eds that were published, as well. As I recall, I wrote about abortion only once.
My reasons for not writing much about abortion years ago were threefold: First, my beliefs about abortion fluctuated through my 20’s and 30’s. Secondly, being male and single, I expected that I was never going to have to face the issue of abortion in my personal life– so I felt that whatever I believed about abortion wasn’t very important. Finally, I felt that babies that got aborted were probably better off than if they were born into situations where they were so unwanted.
For the record, I have never favored the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe vs. Wade. From all vantage points, Roe strikes me as defective jurisprudence.
I don’t go to church and don’t have a wide circle of friends, so I don’t rub elbows with many pro-lifers– only relatives and a friend. Based on things I’ve heard and read, I sense that the majority of American pro-lifers (maybe all) favor some form of a federal life-at-conception law or a constitutional amendment that would achieve the same.
While I support efforts to give legal protection to the unborn, I have to be honest: For the foreseeable future, a federal law protecting life at conception isn’t likely to become a reality.
As for a Constitutional amendment that would protect life at conception, that has zero chance of success. There are more than enough Democrat dominated states to prevent ratification of a life amendment for the foreseeable future.
Which brings me to my main point: doing what we can to give the unborn the best legal protection that is politically do-able.
Our country is at a point in time where support for abortion-on-demand (as a means of birth control) is waning somewhat. Support for abortion among young Millennials is weaker than the support it gets from people who promoted abortion in the 1970’s. We also now have a Supreme Court that, hopefully, will do a better job of upholding the Constitution. (Note: Even with the current line up at the Supreme Court, it’s unlikely that the court would directly overturn Roe vs. Wade— due to judges’ reluctance to go against precedence. But I do think that this court is willing to chip away at the edges of Roe.)
The lessened support for abortion combined with the new Supreme Court line up, opens up the very real possibility of getting heartbeat laws passed in many states, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Unlike conception laws, heartbeat laws (or brain waves laws) could be enforced, and could also garner the support of a solid majority of Americans.
In the meantime, educating people about foetal development is something we can, and should, do. The more people learn about what’s going on in the womb, the less likely they are to support abortion.
Science tells us that a fetus achieves a heartbeat and brain waves after about six weeks. What reasonable person can argue that a fetus with a heartbeat and brain waves is not a human being?
The Left’s “pro-choice” mantra for abortion-on-demand obviously ignores the complex evolution that occurs in the womb during pregnancy. In all likelihood, the fetal-science deniers on the Left will continue to argue in defense of “a woman’s right to choose” to end any unwanted pregnancy. But support for their pro-choice argument is starting to weaken.
Sometime in the foreseeable future, the Left could end up being looked back upon as being on the wrong side of history in the debate over abortion. Now is a good time to step up efforts to get heartbeat laws passed in as many of the 50 states as possible. //
© 2021 Les Govment
posted with permission from the author