Missouri’s Heartbeat Law: when Science and the Bible come together
Psalm 127:3 “Children are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is His reward.”
There is one institution that has changed the abortion debate, by validating there is a real person in the womb. It’s the one that the secular, nonreligious community so often clings to in their unbelief. It’s science.
At the time of Roe vs. Wade in 1973 (when abortion became legal in the US), the Supreme Court based their decision on science being unable to define life’s beginning: “At this point in the development of man’s knowledge, we are not in a position to… resolve the difficult question of when life begins…”
Times have changed, because if science is to be the basis for determining when human life begins (when we have a real person in a mother’s womb), then science is now on the side of the Bible. As Dr. Herbert Ratner writes in the standard college text book ‘Psychology and Life’, “It is now of unquestionable certainty that a human being comes into existence precisely at the moment when the sperm combines with the egg.”
There is also something very powerful in hearing the heartbeat of a baby inside the womb. The science of ultrasound. With this technology, the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy, which is just two weeks after a mother’s missed period. This is well before many women even realize they are pregnant. With an ultrasound, the mother can also view her unborn baby, which then enables the mother to truly make a choice. As the Texas Fifth Circuit Court noted, in its 2012 ‘Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey’ decision, the disclosure of the ultrasound, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are “the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information.”
Ultrasound technology was first used for clinical purposes in 1956 in Glasgow. Obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown developed the first prototype systems based on an instrument used to detect industrial flaws in ships. By the end of the 1950s, ultrasound was routinely used in Glasgow hospitals. But it wasn’t standard in British hospitals until the 1970s, and it wasn’t widely used in American hospitals until after Roe vs. Wade. But it is now. And this technology is the major truth in turning women away from an abortion and towards seeing their unborn child, as Psalm 127:3 says, a “reward from the Lord.”
The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, a national legal network of prolife pregnancy centers, released this statement that has become known as the ‘80% Life vs. Death Rule’: “410 of NIFLA’s medical membership reported providing 75,318 ultrasound confirmations of pregnancy in 2013 on patients identified as either abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable. Of these abortion at risk patients, 58,634 chose to carry to term, indicating that 78% of those mothers who saw an ultrasound image of their unborn child before deciding about abortion chose life. When asked whether ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy has a positive impact upon a mother considering abortion to choose life 83.5% said ‘Absolutely,’ 15.8% said ‘More than likely,’ and 0.7% said, ‘Only a small impact.’” The science of ultrasound is persuasive.
In our verse this week, the Bible informs us that the unborn baby is a gift from God, a heritage given to mothers that is intended to bless their lives. From the moment of conception, the unborn child has also been intended to bring great joy to the father: “Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:5).
But Planned Parenthood (there’s an oxymoron – they do anything but plan parenthood) refers to unborn babies as “tissues” or “products of conception”, not gifts from God. They work tirelessly to dissuade women from looking at their ultrasounds. That’s because they do not want the public, nor apparently SCOTUS, to reach the same conclusion as medical science: the child in the womb is a person.
This week, Alabama became the first state to effectively ban abortions, with their own Fetal Heartbeat Law that criminalizes the procedure for doctors. Missouri is now voting on HB 126, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. But unlike Alabama, Missouri has included a ‘Trigger Law’, which declares that Missouri is a “sanctuary of life” state that protects “pregnant women and their unborn children.” This would trigger a statewide abortion ban if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade.
After 46 years of murdering over 60 million children, the war to end abortion in America has ironically been validated by the one weapon the secular culture has claimed invalidates the bible: science. We can thank science for pointing us back to the Bible. Everyone, including SCOTUS, knows it is a person in the womb.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.