This slogan has been used by the Pro-life Movement for years.
It is short and memorable.
It pulls at our emotions.
The problem is, it is not always true.
Millions of babies have been murdered (and thousands of babies will be murdered today) before their heart was fully developed or before the beat of their heart could be fully detected.
God's word declares that when a woman has "conceived" (Isaiah 7:14), she is "with child" (Matthew 1:23). Scripture is absolutely clear as to when a new and distinct human being is created and it has nothing to do with the development of a specific organ, but at the moment of conception! If this is true, dear reader, if every child from the point of conception is fully human, then to seek protection for only those babies who are able perform for a ultra sound technician (even if your goal is to protect them all in the end) is evil! It is a wicked thing to abandon under color of law one image bearer of God to protect another image bearer of God whether for political advancement or to make abortion seem unthinkable to the world!
And just as we should expect, science and medicine have been found to agree with the Lord of heaven and earth, the Creator of our Universe, without Whom there is no foundation for the existence, study, or reliability of science.
Dr. Jerome LeJeune (geneticist, doctor, called by many the "father of modern genetics") stated that: "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. It is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...It is plain experimental evidence."
In Dr. LeJeune own words, the evidence is plain—weeks before the heartbeat can be detected a new life has begun. At the exact moment of conception that fertilized egg, that zygote, is distinctly a human—with his or her own DNA, blood type, and personality! This tiny individual is the same person he or she will be for the rest of their lives.
And millions of these precious image bearers are murdered at this most important and vulnerable time of their lives (before 6 weeks) under "color of a law" that is not only applauded and embraced by a Godless nation, but sadly also supported by many who claim to be pro-life!
One of the pragmatic "answers" to the "abortion problem" (and how to incrementally reverse the Supreme Court's ruling of Roe v Wade) is heartbeat legislation. Both Iowa and Ohio have passed bills that would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected (though the courts struck one down, and the other needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the governor). Other states have pushed for this same legislation for years and/or are presently seeking to pass a similar bill.
Millions of pro-lifers, including multitudes of Christians, read of these types of pro-life victories (and the rhetoric "we are winning!" that accompanies such victories) and they rejoice—not realizing all the ramifications. As believers we must think critically, and we must think Biblically! To continue to support unrighteous decrees like a heartbeat bill or to vote for those who compromise and collaborate with the lives of these tiny holocaust victims is opposing evil with what God calls evil!
1. The Heartbeat Bill is moved by personal whim rather than truth.
We know (Biblically, scientifically, and medically) that a human's life begins at conception. To say "we will protect all persons from murder once their heart beat is detectable" is just as subjectively arbitrary as saying "we will protect all persons from murder once they come out of their mother's womb" or "once they pass puberty", or "once they are old enough to vote."
If our desire is to applaud protection, then we should really celebrate Roe v. Wade! Aren't all born humans protected in that Supreme Court ruling?! Fighting arbitrariness in an arbitrary way is ridiculous.
2. You can kill a baby after the heartbeat if...
The word exception has been entertained far too long in the Pro-life Movement and has been used to justify the murder of a multitude of children in the womb—it is a word that leads to a wicked and perverse line of thinking!
Almost every single pro-life heartbeat bill (any pro-life bill for that matter) has the exception of rape, incest, fetal abnormality, and/or life of the mother written in! And just like that, even the babies the Heartbeat bill claims to protect, are not safe!
There is no exception that produces a good enough reason to murder an innocent person. The awful truth is that nearly all pro-life politicians also make exceptions for murder.
Exceptions are just one of the enemy's tools to keep this horrific evil alive and well in our land! Of course, proving you were raped is not necessary in order to schedule an abortion past this magical 6 week's mark! All you need is a woman's own word reported to authorities or a physicians orders claiming a pregnancy could endanger the woman's life and, heartbeat or no heartbeat, the baby will still be brutally slain!
And even if the rape did exist and a child was conceived, how wicked for the Pro-life Movement to value the criminal's life over the life of the baby by writing in such an exception! Why punish the child for his/her father's crime?
At one point, the Iowa heartbeat bill only allowed for a "medical emergency" which was defined as a situation in which the life of the woman was in danger. Then Republicans, the pro-life politicians, amended the bill to expand the exceptions to also include a situation in which:
—the mother was raped and reports the rape to law enforcement within 45 days
—the mother was the victim of incest and reports the issue to law enforcement within 140 days
—"not all the products of conception are expelled" following a miscarriage (which makes no sense to even include this exception—and only muddies the waters even more)
—a physician certifies that the fetus has an abnormality, that, in the physician's "reasonable medical judgment," the child is incompatible with life
Penalties and Prosecution
3. Heartbeat legislation does not allow for proper prosecution of those who kill the baby or for those who would hire the assassin!
This is folly!
The Ohio heartbeat bill, last I heard, had no exceptions after the heartbeat is detected, but the penalty for physicians who would preform an abortion after this arbitrary time is only a year of prison.
And parents, those who procure an abortion and are protagonists in the crime, are not to be prosecuted. If someone instigates a murder by seeking out and paying a hit man to slay an innocent person, they are also guilty. The idea of letting the one who buys the hit "off the hook" would not be countenanced anywhere else in the justice system BUT in the case of abortion. Sadly, it is the fruit of the pro-life practice of making women out to be the victim in these situations. A mother may or may not have been a victim in a crime (rape or incest), but in the crime of abortion, the victim is the child. This is inequity.
And in the case where the mother is truly a victim of a forced abortion (abusive father or being trafficked) then prosecution would be in her favor, not against her!
4. It undermines what we profess to believe and establishes a wrong standard.
The catchy slogan may be,
"If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected."
Yet we know that a human's life begins when they are conceived, weeks before the heartbeat can be seen on an ultra sound.
To boldly say all life begins at conception and yet allow for the murder of a pre-born before he/she is 6 weeks old, unwittingly exposes you as inconsistent and hypocritical.
What is that behavior telling the world?
One secular source gives the following commentary:
"A fetal heartbeat bill is a form of proposed abortion legislation in the United States of America which makes abortions illegal as soon as the fetus' heartbeat can be detected, based on the conclusion that a fetus is a person as soon as it has a heartbeat."
This bill misinforms the public. I have heard it from the lips of aborting parents as they walk into an abortion clinic and flippantly call out: "It's okay, my baby doesn't have a heartbeat yet." They have been made to think that before the heart is beating it is allowable. What gave them that idea? The excellent education of the Pro-life Movement's promotion and politics.
5. There are three things that the Heartbeat bill does accomplish.
A. Gives the pro-life organizations something to cheer about and garner support for more like actions.
B. Gives the pro-life government leaders a 100% pro-life voting record and future votes.
C. Gives the pro-life people the illusion that the fight is being won and keeps them content to continue giving and voting for the same nonsense that has gotten us nowhere.
Pro-life legislation is a smokescreen, distracting from the fact that politicians are not doing their duty. They have the authority and obligation to establish equity for those under their jurisdiction by law, to punish evildoers, and to protect the innocent. All of the innocent!
"Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place" (Jeremiah 22:3).
Heartbeat legislation does not accomplish man's duty before God and his fellow man, but it does make it look like that he is doing something.
There is another bill being put forth in Ohio AT THE SAME TIME that the heartbeat bill has received so much attention and praise—this bill would abolish all abortion as murder, doing justice and establishing equal protection to all pre-born babies in the state of Ohio! Sadly, this bill is being squelched and suppressed by the very people who are lauding the heartbeat bill.
NOW, I hasten to say that there is no doubt in my mind that many legislators, many workers in pro-life organizations, many supporters of this ban truly believe they are doing right. They have been taught to do it this way and are pragmatically pushing forward! But they have not examined this endeavor in the light of Truth—it is still wrong to do wrong! We all must be confronted with the error. We all need to hear the truth—we must be exposed to the horror of this failure, search the Scriptures, consider our ways, and then repent.
Pushing for legislation that actually provides for babies to be lawfully killed at a younger gestational age (in hopes to save some) is not humbly confessing our sin, or turning to God in repentance, or seeking mercy for ourselves and healing for our land. "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?" (Psalm 94:20).
Should we expect God to bless us while we continue to cast His law behind our backs? Let us humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, including the way of perverting the justice of the most innocent and most vulnerable in our land—the preborn.
In obedience to God's word we must do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Opposing injustice unjustly is not just. We need to be shown where we're wrong and how to oppose this evil in the right way.
We need to recognize that in spite of our pro-life stickers and high sounding religious slogans, political zeal, and prayers to God to bless our efforts our hands are "full of blood". We need to hearken to the LORD: "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow..." (Isaiah 1).
We need to forsake the foolish and live! Let us exhort each other and our leaders to be true champions of the weakest among us! Pro-life congressmen and senators are putting forth bills that they are told "the people" are demanding. Let them hear the demand for total and immediate abolition of abortion!
That is not the issue. It is not about doing enough. It is about doing what is RIGHT.
Others will make a plea towards pragmatism. But, we need to choose to be found obedient to our King Jesus.
"Duty is ours. Results are God's."
Why should God bless wicked measures and iniquitous decrees? Let us trust the Lord, for God's work done God's way will work.
Abortion must be abolished. No exceptions!