Abortion Science: Heartbeats Are Imaginary, Unborn Babies Aren't Alive

RealClear Contributor


Is abortion murder? Well, according to The Atlantic writer Moira Weigel, it kind of isn't. She claims that modern ultasounds have been pushing the idea that a fetus is a human when it clearly isn't: “The technology has been used to create an ‘imaginary’ heartbeat and sped-up videos that falsely depict a response to stimulus.”

Her statement seems very controversial but trust me, it doesn't stop there. She then went on to imply that only male doctors are allowed to use ultrasounds.

“Ultrasound made it possible for the male doctor to evaluate the fetus without female interference,”

And I don't know if any of you agree with Weigel's statement but there are a lot of holes in it that can be debunked.......Like, the fact that there are also female doctors who do ultrasounds. What does she have to say about that? Now, maybe I'm taking her words out of context and maybe she didn't mean that at all but her initial stance is very direct: a fetus isn't a person.

So, if a fetus isn't a living person then it would mean that abortion isn't wrong right?

Well, that's according to Weigel and her logic which states that if it’s illegal to kill a healthy, unborn baby after her heartbeat is detected, simply deny that she has a heartbeat:

Opponents of the heartbeat bills have pointed out that they would eliminate abortion rights almost entirely—making the procedure illegal around four weeks after fertilization, before many women realize that they are pregnant. These measures raise even more elementary questions: What is a fetal heartbeat? And why does it matter?

The idea would have been unthinkable before the advent of a technology developed in 1976: real-time ultrasound. At six weeks, the “heartbeat” is not audible; it is visible, a flickering that takes place between 120 and 160 times per minute on a black-and-white playback screen. As cardiac cells develop, they begin to send electrical pulses that cause their neighbors to contract. Scientists can observe the same effect if they culture cells in a petri dish.

Doctors do not even call this rapidly dividing cell mass a “fetus” until nine weeks into pregnancy. Yet, the current debate shows how effectively politicians have used visual technology to redefine what counts as “life.”

So, does the fact that unborn babies don't have heartbeats justify killing them? And what authority does Weigel have to say that they don't have heartbeats anyway? Just because the heartbeat isn't audible doesn't make it any less a heartbeat in my books. 

Abortion activists can go on all day about the benefits of abortion and whatnot but I think it's just a sad attempt to remain on the losing side of the debate. Unborn babies are alive and they are just as valuable and precious as any baby.

We are all subject to our own opinions and if you're pro-abortion then I respect your opinion. However, Weigel's statement should not indicative of the thoughts of all abortion activists. A heartbeat does matter.



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