The left – stung by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, reversing Roe and returning the Nation to a 200-year constitutional standard – has a fresh comeback: Forget “fetal heartbeat.” Really?
The fetal “heartbeat” in an embryonic child can be heard at six weeks, but they say – forget it. Why? The heart is not fully formed, and besides it is just an electronic signal from the uterus.
Well, true enough, the human heart is not fully formed at six weeks, and what one hears is an electronic signal. But then, let us get down to brass tacks: The fully formed human heart is assessed by heartbeat – just an electronic signal. Heartbeats are, by definition, that signal.
Delegitimizing humanness, discounting the spark of a human heart, is like saying brainwaves – also detectable at six weeks – are “just brainwaves,” or that humanness flows from size. Does it? Aren’t those signals, which emanate from the location of a forming baby – human? If not a little human, made unique by those embryonic heart and brain waves, what is this?
Put differently, to minimize or delegitimize the existence of a forming human, one must do one of three things: Imagine detected child-specific activity is something other than a human baby, decide babies do not count until they can cry, or adopt a random definition of human life.
Reality is different. Most who argue for the “non-child child,” or the “beating non-heart,” or another justification for treating the human fetus as less than human, know – if they think on it – they are dealing with human life. They may not like the implications, but reality is hard to deny.
Women do not carry non-human electrical signals in their womb, and – despite recent leftist fantasies – men do not have that privilege and never will, no matter how twisted language gets.
More to the point, there is a clear – and for some too heavy – moral obligation that comes from this obvious reality, the unblinking truth that what has been created and detected is – can only be – the early stage of a human child, the same way that a child is the early stage of a young adult, young adult early-stage older adult, eventually very old adult.
So when those who want a child not to be a child argue that the child’s heartbeat – and brainwaves – do not count, one has to ask: How far does cognitive dissonance, the ability to hold to contrary ideas in the mind at the same time, really go? Apparently rather far.
Mocks one paragon of modern morality, the New York Times, in a headline recently: “Abortion opponents hear a ‘heartbeat’ – most experts hear something else.” Leave aside that after Dobbs, one might better describe the opponents as proponents of life. Just look at what “experts” – none of whom got aborted – have to say.
They say: “What you see and hear on an early ultrasound is embryonic activity — electrical currents being sent through cells that will develop at a much later time into a heart,” thus just “cardiac activity heard on an early ultrasound.”
The more logical among us may be forgiven for questioning how words are parsed by those who want to end the “cardiac activity” because we think, after all, this is a distinction without a difference.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, if you think back, names are just names. A heart is a heart, rose is a rose, and “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Babies are babies, hearts are hearts, beats are beats, to one expectant mother and another sound as sweet.
So, when angry pro-abortion protestors – and apologists in the media – channel their deep resentment of Dobbs and our Nation’s laws into language, and seek to minimize the processes of pregnancy, growth, detection, and birth of a child, one must stop.
According to the New York Times and anti-Dobbs Democrats who now demand the Supreme Court be unapologetically “packed” with left-leaning justices and made political, the “cardiac activity” cannot be a “heartbeat.” It is just a “word” that “crept into the literature.”
Indeed, a word that “crept into the literature” to describe electrical signals emitted by an organ producing “cardiac activity,” traditionally known as a heart, which in turn regulates the rest of the body – throughout lifetime growth – with the brain.
In a pregnant cow, we know that heart belongs to a forming calf, not a deer. In a sheep, we know it belongs to a forming lamb, not a colt. In a human, we know it belongs to a forming human child. To imagine anything less is to allow fiction to “creep into” fact.
The process of understanding a “heartbeat” is not complex, just inference. Where there is a heartbeat, there is a heart. Where that heart is human, there is a human. Not to miss a beat, that is why we have “heartbeat laws” – to protect the heart, and little human for which it sweetly beats.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, ten-year naval intelligence officer, US Court of Appeals 9th Cir. clerk, author of “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003) and “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and National Spokesman for AMAC. Follow him on Twitter @RCharles4USA