The Ohio House on Thursday passed a “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions in that state when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. I, along with pro-life advocates around the country, likely had a similar response: “That’s the least you can do.”
Whether or not the bill becomes law in Ohio — Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed a similar bill passed last year — I’m pleased to see the Republican-controlled congress in that state pass a bold, and yet incredibly common-sense measure to protect life.
The heart is the engine of the human body
The human heart is the engine of the body. It supplies the fuel — the blood — to the other organs to keep the body functioning.
The human body needs a functioning heart to survive. No rationally-thinking adult can dispute this fact.
When the heart is beating, a body is alive. When the heart stops beating, the body is dead.
(Yes, machines can artificially keep a body alive without a beating heart. But for all intents and purposes, the machines play the role of the heart itself. Meaning: in one way or another, the engine must continue pumping blood. Furthermore, the argument of this article is based on the premise that we lived in a world without medical science interfering in God’s creation.)
What about the brain? Isn’t a brain dead person legally dead?
Others want to make a case that the brain is the engine of the body. The argument behind this is that a person can be kept alive on a machine when his heart stops beating, but once the brain is dead it cannot be reversed or artificially sustained.
Yes, it’s true that a brain dead person is considered legally dead. But that is a fallacy. It is only “accepted” as legal death because it cannot be reversed.
And so what if it cannot be reversed?
The fact that a brain dead human can’t ever walk, talk or move of its own volition is irrelevant to this particular conversation. I’m not making an argument about quality of life — I’m arguing life in general.
If a body’s heart keeps pumping blood to other organs in the body, it is keeping the other parts alive.
Example: A side-by-side comparison of heart failure and brain death
Again, let’s operate under the premise that we lived in a primitive world without medical science — which we did at one point.
If two people simultaneously succumbed to tragic organ failure — John’s heart stopped beating and Jane’s brain stopped functioning — which person would be “dead” first?
One type of person would argue that both were dead at the same time. After all, if no machine were able to sustain John’s heart, he’s dead. And because Jane’s brain stopped, she’s considered “legally” and “clinically” dead.
But, in fact, John would be dead first because his heart no longer could supply blood to the rest of the body. All his organs would suffer and die in short order.
Jane, on the other hand, would likely die soon after, but her “body” would still be alive if her heart were still beating and circulating blood to the other still-living organs in her body.
That may be splitting hairs if we’re talking about a matter of hours, minutes, or seconds between the death of the two. But those are also facts, nonetheless.
A beating heart signals a living body
That brings us back to the “heartbeat bill” passed by Ohio lawmakers.
When a fetal heartbeat is detected, it is proof of life. Pro-death advocates will deny this and claim that a “first breath” is a sign of life. But that, of course, is nonsensical and is explained away by biology. A baby does not need to “breathe” inside the womb. Breath is needed once it exits the womb.
However, once a baby’s heartbeat stops in the womb — a miscarriage — that means the fetus has died.
It is dead because its heart stopped beating.
The heartbeat should be a universally accepted point of no return for abortions
As a Christian man, I believe in life at conception.
But for the secular world out there that doesn’t believe in God — and would rather cling to science — it’s hard to take them seriously when they deny the science of the heartbeat.
One can make an argument that a fetus without a heartbeat isn’t really alive — even though I wholeheartedly disagree with this premise.
But one cannot make an argument against the fact that a fetus with a heartbeat in the womb is alive and well and growing inside its mommy’s tummy.
To stop its heartbeat is, in fact, putting it to death. How that’s not considered murder by a rational-thinking society — I have no idea.
I pray that the Ohio heartbeat bill goes into law and that other states in the country adopt similar measures.