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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
The abortion ruling should be re-examined, this time using science.
When the Supreme Court announced in January 1973 that abortion was now the law of the land, the overwhelming consideration for their decision was the woman’s privacy rights between her and her doctor and “a woman’s right to choose.”
“Science” was not decided. In fact, science was specifically excluded from their decision. The Justices withheld any science-based decision when they offered in footnote #3, “that the definition of human life is for the legislature and not the courts.”
In Justice Blackmun’s majority opinion, the issue was “privacy” and the penumbras of “sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights” emanating from the Constitution. Astronomy tells us a penumbra is “the shadow cast by the earth or moon over an area experiencing a partial eclipse.” The Law tells us a penumbra includes rights derived by implication from other rights. And in the case of Roe, that implied right is claimed to be privacy.
Privacy, not Science formulated the legal opinion that allowed Roe and all of America to have an abortion.
The argument still reigns today, “a woman’s right to choose” and “the private decision between a woman and her doctor,” and “I can do with my body what I want” (unless, of course, the government mandates the wearing of a mask!).
The important thing to note is the decision was based on some flimsy right to privacy (flimsy because the word ‘privacy’ is nowhere in the Constitution) and was not based on science.
But how could it have been based in science? This is not the direct fault of the Justices. The science literally didn’t exist in 1973.
But it does now.
For example, as familiar we all are today with the sound of the baby’s heartbeat, according to Harvard.edu, the discovery of fetal heart monitoring came after the Roe decision.
Medical advancements that are taken for granted and enjoyed today were not readily available (if at all) in the early 1970s. Consider that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology was in its infancy in the early 1970s. The first MRI machine would not be built until 1977.
Something as simple as the home pregnancy test wasn’t available in the early 1970s. Margaret Crane designed the first home pregnancy test and in 1971 when she was issued a patent for what she called the Predictor. The first ads wouldn’t be released until 1978.
Science was rapidly changing and the knowledge of new inventions and medicines seemed to really take flight right around this time. But no invention would prove more devastating for the abortion industry than the ultrasound, because this invention showed the truth, or the science behind the formation of the baby. Once touted as a blob of tissue (and still is today under the deranged belief that if you say it often and loud enough, it must be true), the fetus is now scientifically proved to be alive – and uniquely human.
Although the theory of “sound wave” technology has been around since physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani studied bats in 1794, the everyday use of what we today know as the “ultrasound” was “well into the 1970s before it became widely used in American hospitals.”
The Justices didn’t even contemplate the life inside of the mother, or if you don’t believe in that life, they didn’t even contemplate the blob of tissue inside the mother. Today, they can look at that life in real time. Advancements now give us the 3D image. The first 3D ultrasound image of a baby was taken in 1986. Many children born after 1986 actually have an ultrasound image of themselves.
The science is as crystal clear as one can see, or is willing to see. Science tells us that the heartbeat of the baby begins before the 6th week of pregnancy. We also know that most women begin to feel their baby move somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks.
Yet, those who don’t argue science, but privacy, will further argue that a woman can choose an abortion up to the minute of birth, and if you’re the Governor of Virginia, even minutes after birth. There is absolutely no science rooted in that decision. Yet “Catholic” Joe Biden professes to want to argue the science of COVID 19. And we should. But we need to also argue the science of life.
Sometimes science can remain a mystery, but when it comes to the life of the unborn baby, the mystery – mysteriously – no longer exists. The reality is that in 2017 at Kansas City’s St. Luke’s Hospital, little baby Ellie Schneider was born at 21 weeks and 6 days and weighed less than a pound. You may remember her if you saw the 2020 State of the Union address. Ellie was there. And those who oppose science were furious.
And just who are furious? Those who are intellectually dishonest.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, OB-GYN, was the co-founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America in 1969. As father of the abortion industry, he not only performed 5,000 abortions, but aggressively promoted and taught doctors how to perform this deadly surgery on over 10,000 babies and managed the largest abortion facility in the world overseeing an additional 60,000 deaths. He inadvertently expanded on Margaret Sanger’s desire to eradicate the black population. That is, until real-time ultrasound forced him to be intellectually honest.
When I interviewed him in 2009, Nathanson told me that the “the bombshell was real-time ultrasound. It made everything come alive.”
Dr. Nathanson disclosed that for the first time he and the mother could actually see the baby yawn and stretch in real-time motion. Moving images of his second patient sucking her thumb and wiggling her toes declared the humanity of the baby in the womb, and this awakened Dr. Nathanson’s inner voice, a voice he had long forgotten or perhaps never known — the voice of conscience.
It is no wonder that politicians routinely vote against making ultrasounds available to every woman considering an abortion. Clear imaging can decrease the abortion industry’s revenue from abortion by 85%.
Real-time ultrasound brought him face to face with the humanity of his own dead children and the fact that he was responsible for caring for his “second patient”, the baby. He didn’t argue with what science had just proven. Dr. Nathanson responded to the science with a human response.
Nathanson followed the science and resigned from NARAL and quit the abortion industry. In 1984, he sent gyrations through the secular media by showing President Ronald Reagan his film, The Silent Scream, a real-time in utero ultrasound video revealing what happens to the baby during an abortion. The science revealed a 12-week-old baby squirming away from the suction tube and then his/her mouth opening in what Dr. Nathanson “the silent scream of a child threatened imminently with extinction.” Inspired by the truth that science revealed, President Reagan wrote the Personhood Proclamation in 1988.
We don’t necessarily blame the Justices who gave us Roe, they didn’t have the science. But Joe Biden does, and Amy Coney Barrett does, as well. Americans must be intellectually honest, follow the crystal-clear science, and end the abortion industry.
Sixty-three million American babies silently scream, “Follow the science, Joe and Amy. Follow the science.”