Making History in Ohio

9_weeksThis week Ohio state legislators heard from the youngest witness in history – a human being in its 9th week of development! The testimony was conducted via ultrasound from within its mother’s womb.

Some look at historical moments like these and think about how far we’ve advanced in knowledge and understanding of science, technology and the reality of human life.

Others, like Cenk Uygur, sensationalize these moments to undermine the startling truths they uncover. 

Cenk’s Uygur’s words are oddly fascinating and utterly stupefying (as posted by Mark Finkelstein):

By all accounts, the fetus will be the youngest ever to testify. That’s because he or she is not really testifying, because he or she is not really a person yet. In fact, at that point, we don’t even know whether he or she is a he or she.  You know what else hasn’t formed at that point?  Their mouth.  Making it a little hard to testify.  But goofball Republicans have wheeled in a woman, done an ultrasound, and listened to the heartbeat of the fetus in the womb.

If the bill is enacted, it would be the first, I’m sorry, it would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Now, we reached out to the fetus to see if he or she wanted to come on the show, but it did not say anything, because it does not have a mouth. But if it could talk, I’m pretty sure it would say, could you please get out of my mother’s uterus.

Where to begin…

First, it is true that we do not know whether the baby testifying is a boy or a girl. However, this fact doesn’t impact the status of his/her personhood. Furthermore, the baby is a boy or a girl because the baby has had the chromosomes that determine sex since conception. I can’t tell if a bird is male or female, but I can still be pretty sure that a bird is a bird. 

Second, the word testify comes from the Latin “testificare” (or in Ancient Greek – martyr), which means to bear witness…this does not always require words or even the use of one’s mouth. In fact, the best witnesses are sometimes those who protest without speaking. The great civil disobedience of Rosa Parks in choosing not to sit at the back of the bus…Mother Teresa’s testimony about the value of life through her care for the abandoned, neglected and ignored. Action speak louder than words. In this case, the heartbeat spoke on behalf of the baby.

Finally, It is totally contrary the nature of the human being to will against its own existence. Aristotle pegged it: Man is a rational animal. We are separated from animals by our capacity to reason and to will. However, our nature is wired similarly to that of animals – take the fight or flight instincts. Fear of a dangerous situation will cause us to fight or to flee depending on what our instinct tells us would be most conducive for our survival. In light of all this truth, baby would most likely try to communicate his/her natural desire for life.

9_week_ultrasoundI am painfully reminded of one of the earliest passages of Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned. As she watched the abortion take place on the ultrasound screen, she witnessed how the baby seemed to sense the impending danger posed by the suction device, and even tried to get away from it. She saw the baby twisted and turned and eventually eliminated from view, leaving behind not only a hollow womb, but a hollow place in the world that no other person will be able to fill.

Regardless of the outcome in Ohio’s legislative battle, this youngest witness did a magnificent job testifying to an important truth in the fight for Life: many abortions stop a beating heart.