Three Lies And a Truth About Texas' Life-Saving Law | Opinion

In the state of Texas, most preborn children are now protected from the horrific violence of abortion. When the state's heartbeat bill went into effect on September 1, after the Supreme Court refused the abortion industry's request to stop it from taking effect, Texas became the first state in our union to protect children six weeks gestational age or older from abortion since the travesty of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Since then, Big Abortion and its allies have been drumming up a frenzy of fear with myths, manipulation and downright lies. Abortion advocates are playing a game of three lies and a truth in their attempt to demonize the brave leaders and citizens of Texas for their action defending the preborn.

Myth number one: "It's not a child!"

The science of embryology is crystal clear on the question of when life begins: at the moment of conception, also known as fertilization or sperm-egg fusion, when a completely distinct human being has come into existence with his or her own unique DNA. While the abortion industry continues to push the lie that preborn children are merely a "clump of cells," we should know better than to repeat such stale, debunked talking points. Birth doesn't confer humanity on a human; each of us became unique, individual persons at the moment of fertilization. At 6 weeks old in her mother's womb, a little girl's face is already beginning to form. At around only 5 weeks gestation, a preborn child has a heartbeat.

While some attempt to dehumanize the preborn by referring to their heartbeat as "fetal cardiac activity," "electrical signals" or a "flutter in the region where the heart will form," the science is squarely on the side of life. As Dr. Tara Sander Lee writes, "A preborn baby's heart is actively beating at 6 weeks and will have already beat nearly 16 million times by 15 weeks. In fact, at 6 weeks' gestation, the baby's heart rate is about 98 beats per minute, which can be easily detected by ultrasound." Any human heart, including that of an adult, has electrical signals and flutters that could be called mere "cardiac activity." Misleading language about something we would all classify as a heartbeat in any other circumstance of life doesn't change the fact that a human heart is a human heart. Abortion activists can euphemize a heartbeat as much as they like, but they can't obscure the truth. The science doesn't lie.

Texas abortion law protest
AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on September 11, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Texas Lawmakers recently passed several pieces of conservative legislation, including SB8, which prohibits abortions in Texas after a fetal heartbeat is detected on an ultrasound, usually between the fifth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Myth number two: "The Texas law violates women's rights!"

No one has the right to physically harm an innocent person. Parents never have the right to harm or kill their own children. No mother or father—including any who may not want to be a mother or father—has a right to harm their child. Restricting the lethal violence of abortion does not negatively affect the rights of women; it simply recognizes the rights of preborn Americans to be free from life-ending violence.

As we consider the ethical question of whether a mother has the right to kill her preborn child as a utilitarian "solution" to a challenging situation, we must look towards our history and carefully decide what type of society we want to live in. Do we want to empower the strong to kill the weak, simply because the weak are dependent and may be powerless to defend themselves? Should we ignore the God-given constitutional rights of our children, as we ignored the rights of Black Americans in the bondages of slavery, or Japanese Americans in Supreme Court-sanctioned internment camps during the Second World War? We must reject crass dehumanization, and embrace an ethic that values the natural rights of mothers and their children.

Myth number three: "The Texas law is pro-birth, but not pro-life."

All other human rights and goods are predicated on the right to life, and are contingent on the protection of that right. Yes, we all should work towards supporting women and families who are struggling to care for their children. But abortion is never a solution to poverty, disease, sexual violence or any other social ill.

Before the Texas law went into effect, an average of 150 Texan children were killed in abortion clinics each day. Because of the law, it's estimated that more than 100 children are being saved per day. Thanks to the efforts of the pro-life movement, the state has more than 160 life-affirming pregnancy resource centers offering families real assistance and support—including food, diapers, clothing and counseling. More can and should be done to help families in need, and advocates on both sides of the political spectrum can champion caring for families without also advocating for the deaths of their youngest members. We must ensure children are allowed to be born, and must help families flourish and thrive.

The one truth: "The Supreme Court may overturn Roe."

One through-line in the response to the Texas heartbeat law is concern that the Supreme Court's action indicates that Roe v. Wade is on the chopping block. On this point, abortion advocates could be completely correct. And that's a good thing.

Roe has been bad law since it was first issued in 1973. Scholars and observers from both sides of the political aisle understand it as a sorry piece of legal fiction that has done more to harm the credibility of the Supreme Court, and our legal system in general, than any precedent since the Dredd Scott decision lied to us about our shared humanity. Roe has always been destined for rejection.

With a solid bloc of constitutionally minded jurists on our nation's highest Court, the abortion industry should be scared. The days of abortion on demand justified by an outmoded legal fiction are numbered. Texas has taken a brave step toward a future in which all children have the right to life, the chance to live and the opportunity to thrive.

Lila Rose is the founder and president of Live Action, a leading nonprofit human rights organization reaching millions of people each day with education on abortion and human dignity.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.