When the Texas Heartbeat Act was signed into law by Governor Gregg Abbot in May 2021 to abolish elective abortions as early as six weeks (when the unborn child’s heartbeat is “detectable using methods according to standard medical practice”), abortion rights supporters were furious and began challenges to the law.
But on September 2, 2021 and surprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a request from pro-abortion groups to temporarily block enforcement of the pro-life law.
Pro-abortion groups and almost all mainstream media vigorously denounced the decision and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health, and other abortion groups were ready to mount more legal challenges to the law.
Most recently, now a Texas Judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring Texas Right to Life and “100 unnamed individuals” from suing Planned Parenthood, writing that the Texas Law creates a “probable, irreparable and imminent injury” to Planned Parenthood if sued by the nonprofit Texas Right to Life and others.
At the same time, pro-life advocates continue to reach out to pregnant women offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies while Texas lawmakers had already budgeted in the spring for $100 million specifically to help pregnant and parenting mothers and babies
But while even the Wall Street Journal raised legal questions about enforcement of the law by civilians and the exclusion of rape or incest exceptions, the Supreme Court’s decision to refuse to block the Texas Heartbeat Act (and the torrent of national publicity surrounding the decision) forces a recognition of the the humanity of the unborn baby and the fact that even the Mayo Clinic recognizes: the heart begins to beat at 6 weeks.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this fact and Planned Parenthood continues to deny this fact.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH ROE V. WADE
I was a young nurse working in a critical care unit in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion for any reason in the first trimester of pregnancy.
When other doctors and nurses asked my opinion about the decision, I said I was surprised and horrified. Some of the nurses and doctors angrily disagreed with me and asked what I would do if I were raped and pregnant.
I said I would be upset about the rape but also that I couldn’t deliberately end another human life, born or unborn. That was medical ethics.
A few years after the Roe v Wade decision, I was married and pregnant with my first child. I loved the standard prenatal development pamphlet I was given but I couldn’t help but think about how painful this pamphlet could be for a woman who had aborted before becoming pregnant with a wanted child.
I decided that when I finally had some time, I would volunteer at our local Birthright to help women and their babies.
With my subsequent pregnancies, my older children were obsessed with the development of their unborn brother or sister and asked what the baby had or could do almost every week of the pregnancy. It was touching to see how excited they got with each new phase of the baby’s development.
When one of my daughters became pregnant and unwed at age 18, she said she could never have an abortion because she knew so much about prenatal development.
Recently, I was delighted to view the “Meet Baby Olivia” video, a beautiful and “medically accurate, animated glimpse of human life from the moment of fertilization” produced by Live Action. I highly recommend this video and sharing it widely.
Until Texas, other state heartbeat laws have been blocked in court. The Texas Heartbeat Act is facing more legal challenges but it has already changed minds and hearts in Texas: An April poll by the University of Texas-Austin found that 49 percent of Texans support making abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, while 41 percent oppose it.
Education about abortion and outreach to help women struggling with an unexpected pregnancy can save lives!