Making the Case for Texas’ Abortion Bill

Beck Williams, Commentary Editor

Human beings have an innate calling to defend those who cannot defend themselves, which undergirds civilization itself. But those with power in the modern world have abandoned this concept, instead adopting a radically self-serving outlook that leaves the weak to fend for themselves. Cultural acceptance of abortion, the intentional killing of a child inside the womb, is indicative of our collective self-worship and emphasis on success over morality, convenience over compassion, and self over all else. 

There is hope, however, in the surge of laws like the most recent in Texas, effectively banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. While these laws are only a stepping stone to building a culture of life, they are vitally important in turning the tide.

To defend life, a coherent definition of what life is is needed. Though groups like Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, deny that human life begins at conception, they do not provide a consistent answer for when it does. While signs like a heartbeat, brain waves, and independent movement, all of which can be detected in the first trimester of a pregnancy, are vital indicators of life, they do not define it. 

A University of Chicago survey of 5,502 biologists found that over 90% of them agreed that a zygote is an independent organism. It has its own individual DNA sequence, is separate entirely from the mother, and is “programmed” with all of those features which make individuals unique. Seeing as the zygote is of the human species, it follows that an independent human being inside the womb would be just as alive as any other. Though there are many finer details to explore, in the process of going from zygote to adult human, one does not become a different organism. Without such a difference, one cannot justify the killing of one but not the other.

Approaching this topic from a purely scientific perspective ignores major philosophical and moral questions. For a proper examination of the permissibility of abortion, the reasons that a mother might try to terminate her pregnancy must be accounted for. While instances of rape or health of the mother are often cited as justification for abortion, these are statistically extremely rare. According to a a survey of more than 2.4 million women seeking abortions carried out by the states of Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah between 1996 and 2020, these cases make up less than 3.5% of all abortions. Even the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, puts these cases under 7%. While these rare cases are extremely tragic, they do not excuse the killing of an innocent child. In these instances, alternatives must be offered to abortion.

What is far more disturbing is the 96.5% of abortions which do not fall under “hard cases”. In these cases, it seems as though pro-abortion organizations have deemed it acceptable to kill a child for economic or social reasons, or even because the mother simply does not want a child. Advocates for abortion, such as United Nations Human Rights Official Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, call it an “act of self-love.” This euphamistic language belies reality: that abortion is an act of self-worship. This is evident in the way proponents of abortion like Planned Parenthood place materialistic pursuits like success in the workplace and “freedom” from child-rearing above the lives of unborn infants. What’s more, widespread abortion allows men to avoid responsibility for their actions, and encourages them to pressure women into abortion for their sake. While it is foolish to dismiss the reasons that women seek abortion as invalid, it is important to recognize that none of these reasons justify the taking of an innocent life.

The pro-life mission does not end with condemning abortion and the women who seek it. It is vital that alternatives be widely discussed and provided to end the deeply rooted issues that cause abortion. Options like adoption are viable for women who cannot take care of their children. With as many as 36 families waiting to adopt for every child available, good homes can be found for children who would have otherwise been killed. For those women who do want to keep their children, pro-life pregnancy resource centers, of which there are over 2,300 in North America, provide the help needed to do so.

The new Texas law regarding abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected is not perfect, but it is enormously helpful. With almost 1,000,000 abortions occurring in America every year, any law that stops even a few is a good law. Admittedly, the deputization of the citizenry to do the state’s dirty work is not ideal, and the deadline set at the detection of a fetal heartbeat is arbitrary. Even so, it is a victory for life, and state and national lawmakers must continue to work to ensure every unborn life is protected by law.

The Texas Heartbeat Law is a step in the right direction, but it is just that: a step. In order to build a culture of life, the state and the country must start by ensuring that every human life, from the moment of conception, is protected. They must value the life of the mother and child equally, and make alternatives to abortion readily available. Accurate information about abortion must be made available to the public. While Texas has made great strides in protecting the unborn, it still has a long road ahead.