The Viewpoint: Pennsylvania introduces new Heartbeat Bill

Category:  Opinions
Friday, November 1st, 2019 at 11:50 AM

Our Viewpoint is voted on by The Spectator staff, while then written by the editor of the Voices section.

Last week, Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano and Republican State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz ­introduced a controversial new abortion bill, otherwise known as the Heartbeat Bill.

Per a memo to the state senate, Mastriano said: “The right to life is the single most important issue of our lifetime, but it has been clouded by polarization and politicization. Using observable science and modern medicine as our guide to advance legislation on this sensitive issue —without being clouded by politics — is the best way forward.”

This “observable science” leads the bill to “require physicians — before proceeding with an abortion — to determine whether the baby has a heartbeat.” And “if the baby has a heartbeat, the abortion cannot be performed.”

For reference, and according to the American Pregnancy Association, at around six weeks an “ultrasound may be able to detect an audible heartbeat at this time.”

The Pennsylvania Family Institute notably announced their support for the bill, as did  the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) Eric Failing.

No matter your personal opinion, Failing said what we are all thinking: “I don’t know why this has become politicized.” 

We know the answer, though. It started with the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which ruled there cannot be excessive government restrictions on whether a woman decides to get an abortion. 

That should have been the end of the abortion debate in America, but conservatives have pushed for more and more restrictions for the past 40 years. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 2017 there were roughly 30,000 abortion procedures performed. A majority of them were white women likely between the ages of 20-24 who were not married. 

Personal opinion taken out of the situation, this bill shouldn’t be signed into law for one reason: six weeks is far too soon. 

To start, stress and diet — two simple daily components any woman, or even man, have to navigate — alone can affect a person’s menstrual cycle. But it’s not only daily factors that affect a person’s cycle. According to the Cleveland Clinic, changing or going off birth control or an IUD can affect a person’s cycle, as well as endometriosis, rapid changes in weight, thyroid disorders, pelvic inflammatory disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. 

All these factors can cause irregular periods. So, if a person is two weeks late, their first thought could be unrelated to pregnancy.  

So, Eric Failing, think about it — abortions remain political because a person’s rights to their own body are being regulated by men and women who believe all life is precious. That is, until that life is out of the womb and the mother needs government assistance to support the baby you forced her to have. Then, she’s denied government assistance as her baby goes to public school, never sees its mother because she works three jobs, and goes hungry, because the mother can barely afford to keep the lights on, let alone feed her child.

That once 22-year-old college student is now a mother working three jobs because she had a stressful week during finals and thought that’s why she missed her period, not because of a cluster of cells that politicians deem alive so early on. 

It’s just not practical for a person to take a pregnancy test every month. 

Pro-lifers and pro-choicers need to agree that there is such a thing as too early and too soon regarding an abortion. However, they must also realize that it’s 2019 and a majority of people receiving abortions are in their early 20s. This isn’t 1950 anymore. People aren’t getting married at 17 and having babies at 18. Now, they are 26 and still living at home. 

The times are changing and the laws we set forth in our states and our nation need to reflect that.

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