Let me just say it: Ohio ROCKS!
Several pro-life bills have been introduced in the Ohio legislature, but my favorite is the one they call the “Heartbeat Bill.” More than any other, this is the bill that, taken to the Supreme Court, could result in the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The bill would ban abortions after the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. At present, the heartbeat can first be detected at between 18 days and 5 weeks after conception. Since most abortions are done after that point, the bill would effectively ban most abortions in Ohio.
Here’s the ad that Faith2Action has been running in Ohio:
The bill’s logic is so perfect — and wedded to such a visceral, universal, elemental fact as one’s heartbeat — that it makes you wonder why nobody thought of this before. Everyone has a heartbeat; everyone can connect, everyone can relate as a fellow human being when they hear a heartbeat. This is pure genius — and it will ring true. For it is based on a pure, objective, measurable criterion — something so simple as the human heartbeat! — a criterion that is, at the same time, a supremely affective, quintessentially human reality that, yes, pulls at our heartstrings!
Only a few short years ago, a baby’s heartbeat could not be detected until 6 weeks. That date has moved up earlier and earlier thanks to advances in technology.
It is similar to the way ultrasound technology has advanced our ability to see the baby in the womb — an ability to see that has effected some very high-profile conversions to the pro-life cause, including Dr. Bernard Nathanson, at one time the director of the world’s largest abortion facility, and, more recently, Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Nathanson and Johnson are now highly visible and effective pro-life advocates, whose “inside view” of the abortion industry give them added credibility with people who are ambivalent on the issue.
Another technology that has made Roe v. Wade more absurd than ever is neonatal care. The Supreme Court in 1973 arbitrarily drew a line at “viability,” ruling that states could impose no restrictions on abortion before “viability,” and some restrictions, at least, theoretically, after that arbitrary point. But the survival rate — and the rate at which babies not only survive but thrive, with no permanent problems — of premature babies has increased dramatically, and moved to earlier and earlier ages. Many are the hospitals where, in one room, a 22-week baby is being brutally killed, while in another room in the same hospital, a 22-week-baby is benefiting from all the latest technology to help him or her survive and thrive.
These cases show in bold relief just how arbitrary and insane was the Court’s selection of “viability” as some sort of magical dividing line between person and non-person. The line keeps moving — and it was always subjective in the first place. After all, a 1-year-old toddler cannot survive on its own. A person with advanced Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease or Huntington’s cannot survive on their own. A previously healthy 30-year-old who’s in a serious car accident and is in the intensive care unit for several days or weeks cannot survive on his or her own. “Viability” as a criterion for deciding who’s human and who’s not was always just plain silly — so silly that it would be laughable if we weren’t talking about a silly definition that has resulted in the murder of more than 50 million people in the United States since 1973.