There are many things going on in our culture that baffle me – both a good baffle and a bad baffle. I heard a clip on the news this morning on the drive into my office, though, that stumped me.
The reporter was giving a brief summary of the recent decision by the North Dakota Governor regarding the state’s abortion laws. One of the bills he signed states abortion is banned once a heart beat is heard, which can be as early as 6 weeks. The reporter then went on to say how those against this ruling are ready for a long court battle regarding this bill and plan to possibly take it to the Supreme Court. Those against this are just amazed, it seems, at the audacity of this type of bill banning an abortion once there is a heart beat.
This left me stumped. You see, isn’t one of the characteristics defining human life a heart beat? When there is a natural disaster, don’t we have dogs trained to detect a human heart beat – i.e. life – in the rubble? When there is an accident, don’t we perform CPR to often get the heart beating again, thus giving that person the chance to live? Even more, ask any woman who has gone into her OB-GYN’s office, thinking she may be pregnant, only to have an ultrasound performed and the doctor to tell her that “we are sorry, there is no heart beat”. Is that woman glad, thinking “whew, it wasn’t a life anyway?” I doubt it, and I know from personal experience that is the very last thing that crosses your mind. Thus, if we in the normal course of our human lives define one a characteristic of life as having a heart beat, why would someone be so angry that a Governor is trying to protect that life?
So you see, I am confused. Confused and stumped that in one circumstance you are applauded as a hero for saving someone’s life by keeping their heart beating, but in another circumstance you need to be ready for a court battle in order to save that life.
**As an end note, I am fully aware of the explosive nature of this subject for many people, the aspect of women’s rights, and the many exceptions/caveats/medical reasoning’s that are behind the difficult decision by some. This post is simply my thoughts on how we define life in regards to the heart beat of a human being.