By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
The world is flat. People are property. Tobacco is harmless.
Like many other long-held but misguided beliefs, over time these ideas were proven wrong. Consequently, people and societies function differently, in light of what we’ve come to know to be true.
Let’s consider another strongly held belief: preborn life is an insignificant clump of cells, mere tissue possessing no inherent dignity.
This belief was held by early advocates for abortion who regarded the origin of human life to be an unsolvable mystery. Denying the humanity and personhood of the fetus was foundational in the January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade decision.
But then science demystified the mystery.
As enlightening as a spherical earth or revolutionary as the emancipation of an enslaved people, ultrasound technology obliterated the “clump of cells” myth, giving us a clear view of the previously invisible universe of the womb. In 3D imagery, we see that a heart beats as early as 18 days after fertilization. Brain waves are measureable at six weeks. Every organ system is in place by 10 weeks, and by 12 weeks, fingers grasp and the unborn baby hiccups.
This science cannot be dismissed. Through it, our very eyes witness the undeniable humanity and personhood each of us has possessed since our own conception. And this expanding knowledge has consequences.
In writing the majority opinion for Roe v. Wade, years before such evidence was revealed, Justice Harry Blackmun, stated that if personhood were able to be established, the “the appellant’s case…collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
If personhood were established, the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed.
That time has come. Science and law must be in harmony.
Roe was a case decided in a darker era when we knew so little about the little ones. We must abandon the cognitive dissonance that says sometimes we are human and sometimes we are not.
We must acknowledge that our society was misguided in our beliefs, and we must embrace the truths that have become apparent.
Abortion takes the life of a living human being, violently. That alone should give us pause. But there’s more.
Abortion has failed to deliver on its promises. Poverty still exists. Children are still abused. Women are still mistreated.
Abortion has solved nothing.
Rather, abortion feeds a culture in which the more powerful annihilate the weaker, where “wantedness” determines worth, where the supposed safe haven of the womb has become the hardest border of all to cross.
Abortion wounds women, forsakes fathers, undermines families, and weakens society.
We are less because of abortion. More than 63 million Americans less. Less their talent, less their genius, less their love.
We are less morally because of abortion. Ending life at the very start makes it easier to end it at the very end, or at any point in between.
The sacredness of all life is compromised.
This is where abortion has taken us. Abortion based on a faulty proposition that has since been disproven.
Life, your life, my life, all life, begins in the womb.
Science recognizes that.
Now so must our laws.