The question of life is what really matters

By Rylee Smith, Opinions Editor

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The state of Georgia made a brave decision on March 29 to outlaw abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks. The bill, known as the “Heartbeat Bill” is an important step in recognizing the Constitutional right to life that all people have in America.

Outlawing abortion at a clear sign of life such as the heartbeat is a logical decision. The baby’s brain begins developing by four weeks after conception according to the Mayo Clinic, and by six weeks the brain continues to grow, along with the face. At six weeks, a baby is clearly a person, with a brain and a beating heart.

Georgia’s bill was met with predictable outcry from opponents.

But the Fifth Amendment promises these unborn children that, “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

Personally, I believe life begins at conception. When the zygote, which is “the first stage in the development of a genetically unique organism,” according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, attaches to the uterine walls, a life begins to take form. This is the most clear definition of the beginning of life, and the most logically consistent. I oppose abortion at any point. But Georgia’s bill is a step in the right direction, and deserves positive recognition for that.

Arguments of the pro-choice movement only survive when one is willing to take only a cursory glance at them for the sake of preserving one’s opinion. Giving women a choice over their bodies is an important and worthwhile goal. Giving them the choice to destroy another’s body is where the problem comes in. It’s not just the woman’s body we’re talking about. It’s also her child’s.

It is unfortunate that women get pregnant when they do not want to. There are already choices in place for women, though. The choices are: abstinence, contraception, adoption, and motherhood. That many people feel they cannot be satisfied with those four choices is not a good enough reason to end a life. The only argument that matters is whether the child in the womb is a life or not; everything else is a moot point. After all, there is no justification to kill an innocent person, unless the life of his or her mother depends on it.

If you do not believe that life begins at conception, when does it begin? This question must be answered. “I don’t know,” is not a morally acceptable answer. Morally we must err on the side of protecting life. Disregarding life because we’re not exactly sure so we’ll just let the mother decide is wrong. Murder is illegal in this country, even if letting a person live will be a burden on his parents.

Some argue that life begins at viability. Once a fetus is able to live outside the womb, he or she should not be aborted. The problem with this argument is that viability changes. According an article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, one must take into account “biological and technological factors” when determining the viability of a fetus. Viability is situational.

If a fetus is born in a metropolitan area with the best that technology (and her parents’ money) has to offer, she may survive being born at 22 weeks. A child born at the same age in a rural area to parents who do not have access to the best medical care is far less likely to survive. Does this mean that the second child’s life is not worth as much as the first child’s?

All too often, I hear people say, “I think abortion is wrong, but it’s not my job to tell a woman what to do.” Well, why do you think it’s wrong? Because it’s taking a life? If a woman killed her child 3 months after he was born, we wouldn’t be too concerned with telling her what to do. She would be convicted of murder, because the job of government is to protect life. Why is it unacceptable to tell a woman that she can’t murder her child 3 months after birth but not 3 months before?

If you want to argue that abortion should be legal and that Georgia is wrong, you’re free to do so. If you want to do it morally, you must explain why that child is not considered a person who deserves to live.