Fighting for life

'Heartbeat Bill' marks brave step in the battle to protect the unborn

The Greek scholar Aristotle deemed the heart the most important organ in the body.

Countless millions of others think that, too.

So does Ohio state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann. That's why she introduced a bill Wednesday dubbed the "Heartbeat Bill" -- which many are calling the biggest challenge yet to the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

It would prevent a woman from ending a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat is detected -- usually in the first six weeks of pregnancy, and as early as 18 days after conception. An emergency medical situation would be the only exception.

"I'm introducing this bill to get the debate going to see how far we believe we can push the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding as strong a bill as possible, that is saving as many unborn babies as possible," Wachtmann said.

Abortion advocates "are terrified because they know that this is going to work," said Janet Folger Porter, the president of the conservative interest group Faith2Action and who helped create the bill. "They realize that we have taken from them all of their scare tactics and we have the strongest arguments."

Poets and thinkers long have placed the heart metaphysically at the center of thought and deep emotion. Now it's at the center of controversy -- when it's really all about a baby's right to live.

The National Association for the Reform of Abortion Laws has called the bill "political interference" into a private medical issue. Really? Would NARAL be prepared to describe Obamacare the same way?

Some right-to-life advocates say one obstacle to the bill's success is the possibility of state courts or perhaps ultimately the Supreme Court swatting the law down with the same rationale they would apply to a full abortion ban.

But that's no reason to scrap it. The issue has to be raised. The attempt has to be made. The public -- most importantly the women encountering the blessing of motherhood -- need to think this through.

Do some soul-searching. Exactly what is a woman ending when she decides on an abortion?

An abortion ends life. Period. It's not just a clump of tissue in the mother's womb. It's not some abnormal multiplication of cells like an invasive tumor.

It's a person. Has any other human embryo grown to become anything else?

Abortion is not contraception. It's contra-life . And the Heartbeat Bill fights for the lives of untold numbers of children yet to be born. It needs to pass in Ohio, and other states should follow.

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