By Rep. Diane Black & Marjorie Dannenfelser
Over the last few decades, advances in science and medical technology have given us a window into the womb. Through ultrasounds, doctors monitor the movements and heartbeats of babies at their earliest stages, and parents can see their child breathing, kicking, wiggling their toes, and stretching their arms.
A growing body of medical studies tells us that at least by 20 weeks – or 140 days – of gestation, a baby responds to stimulation because the brain can receive pain signals. Long before that 20-week mark, a baby has a beating heart and their eyes, ears, and nose have begun to take shape. At 17 weeks, joints and bones are starting to harden and the skeleton is forming. At just 10 weeks, a baby’s tiny limbs can bend and move with nails beginning to grow.