Following Europe’s abortion policies, the Arkansas Republican-controlled House and Senate, overriding a veto by their Democratic governor, passed a bill (Human Heartbeat Protection Act) banning abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, reported to be the most restrictive law in the country. The bill requires testing to determine “whether the fetus that the pregnant woman is carrying possesses a detectible heartbeat.”
Naturally, The Center for Reproductive Rights along with the ACLU is scheduled to challenge the law in federal court. I think they will lose this one in court. No federal judge will challenge the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to create their own statutory limitations.
But you never know about federal judges. In Boise, Idaho, a federal judge struck down Idaho’s fetal pain law, banning most abortions after 20 weeks. He said efforts protecting the fetus don’t outweigh a women’s right to choose. The question is: when does that human fetus become a human life? And why aren’t we protecting that life of the human fetus as it’s being nurtured by its mother?
One way to determine if we’re alive and aware in the womb is to examine our neural pathways. Dr. Steven Calvin, M.D., who teaches obstetrics at the University of Minnesota says, “The neural pathways are present for pain to be experienced quite early by unborn babies.” He said, “With the advent of sonograms and live-action ultrasound images, neonatologists and nurses are able to see unborn babies at 20 weeks gestation react physically to outside stimuli such as sound, light and touch. The sense of touch is so acute that even a single human hair drawn across an unborn baby’s palm causes the baby to make a fist. Surgeons entering the womb to perform corrective procedures on tiny unborn babies have seen those babies flinch, jerk and recoil from sharp objects and incisions.” If that’s not the beginning and awareness of human life, what is it?
There is a difference between moral obligation and political freedom. It’s one thing to abort a fertilized egg overnight or even within four to six weeks of conception. But thanks to modern science we have the ability to witness, protect and nurture the unborn, who’s a heart beat away from its journey toward the outside world of acceptance and freedom. Why abort them?
As an adoptee, I am grateful for my mother’s decision to place me in an orphanage. My new parents provided me with the foundation for a wonderful life. You would think with the long list of prospective adoptive parents there would be a better way to treat our unborn and unwanted children instead of killing them.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist.