The monitor feels cold against her stomach. She is not really sure what she is expecting to feel, but she knows right now she is anxious. Then, all time stops. You can hear a pin drop in the room as she stares at the monitor. The noise she was waiting for. The baby’s first heartbeat.
Up until midnight of Sept. 1, 2021, that baby was not deemed worthy of life in the state of Texas. That all changed when Gov. Greg Abbot’s so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” went into effect Tuesday night.
The bill, formally named the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” was actually passed in May of 2021. The legislation outlaws abortions after “cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac” are detected.
Before discussing the bill further, here are some important footnotes of the bill:
- The law does provide exemptions for medical emergencies, but not for incest or rape.
- The legislature found that “Texas has compelling interests from the outset of a woman’s pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the unborn child.”
- Nearly anyone may bring civil action against anyone who performs an abortion.
Let me add that I am not a legal scholar and I do not purport to be one.
According to many outlets, this law will outlaw the majority of abortion cases in the state; one such outlet suggested as many as 85% will be outlawed. (I won’t even mention how the lie of “we want safe legal and rare” does not seem to agree with the fact that 85% of abortions are after a baby has its own heartbeat).
Conservatives cheered in response to this bill. Pro-life groups, politicians, and political commentators alike praised the legislation for being the first step in many in the fight to protect life.
Joshua Prince, a pro-life attorney took to Twitter to express his hope for the future. “I’m a pro-life attorney who defends state abortion regulations for a living. Today is the first time I’ve seen light at the end of the tunnel. Our national nightmare may be ending.”
The other side of the aisle took the opportunity to reveal their true colors.
“Midnight in Austin. For the first time since 1973, a state has banned abortion. The great conservative legal project has succeeded. RIP #RoeVWade,” CNN contributor Jeffery Toobin lamented on Twitter.
In the same vein, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted, “I’m thinking about the Black, brown, low-income, queer, and young folks in Texas. The folks this abortion health care ban will disproportionately harm. Wealthy white folks will have the means to access abortion care. Our communities won’t.”
The Los Angeles Times put out an article titled, “With Texas’ abortion ban, who are Americans to judge the Taliban?” The “slippery slope” argument need not even be made; a newspaper is quite literally equating the conservative pro-life movement to the Taliban.
So here’s the bottom line. Life begins at conception, and good for Texas for finally being willing to acknowledge that.
This step is one that is long overdue and with many challenges ahead of it. NPR notes that if federal courts agree to let this stand, it is possible other states begin to follow suit, but if they strike it down, it may result in a crushing blow to the pro-life movement.
Here is what the law tells me: the pro-life movement has a bigger fight ahead of it than it may be prepared for. The intense and unwavering backlash over a bill wanting to protect children reveals that this nation has moved further left than some may want to assume.
At some point in the conversation it became controversial to believe that science and faith tell us when human life begins and instead became favorable to be empathetic and understanding of people’s situations to the point of murder.
Abortion is murder. Period. To even use the euphemism “abortion,” allows us to debate 15 versus 6-week bans, as though the fight should not be to ban it outright. We must stop ceding ground. We must remain vigilant. This fight is far from over.
I leave you with this from Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
It is our privilege and responsibility to fight for those who cannot speak for themselves. Do not take victory laps yet, remain vigilant in the protection of the unborn. This is only the beginning. Godspeed.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.