At the Federalist this week, just in time for the 2017 March for Life, my colleague Sean Davis has a terrific piece that deconstructs the latest abortion activist talking point. In a “bizarre and rambling” essay at the Atlantic, a young woman named Moira Weigel claimed that ultrasound technology, and the heartbeats that this technology often reveals, are more or less a tool of the patriarchy used to trick women into believing that the unborn human inside them is alive: at six weeks pregnant, many new mothers can see their baby’s heartbeat via an ultrasound—but according to Weigel (a student not of medicine but of comparative literature), there is “no heart to speak of” in a six-week-old human, ergo it is not really living.
This claims are objectively, medically false—laughably so—which is why the Atlantic was forced to quietly edit this embarrassing piece and issue a minuscule correction at the bottom. But Weigel’s ignorance serves to underscore an important point about the pro-abortion movement: it is a faction that is more or less passionately hostile towards, and ignorant of, modern science, specifically modern embryology and human development.
Such ignorance is necessary to sustain the animating fiction of the pro-abortion position, namely that the unborn are “not alive,” or else “not human.” Of course this is not true, and the pro-choice faction’s refusal to engage with the hard scientific facts of unborn life speaks volumes about its commitment to rational debate. Contrary to the widely-perceived parameters of the abortion issue, the foundational tenets of the pro-life position spring not from a moral question but from a scientific one: namely, what does abortion do? The answer—-“It kills an innocent human being”—must necessarily give rise to the moral inquiry: “Is killing innocent human beings wrong?” Pro-lifers have responded “Yes,” and rightfully so; pro-choicers, aware of the monstrous implication of a “No” response, instead turn to ascientific or antiscientific arguments to make their case.
But the facts are clear; you can only deny them for so long. And it is important to note that there is a turning tide in this country: more and more people are coming around to the pro-life position, and though many people are strangely inconsistent on the matter—lots of folks who want to broadly outlaw abortion nevertheless believe it should still be legal in the first three months—the numbers are nonetheless very encouraging. So is the March for Life, a massive gathering of like-minded people committed to ending violence against the unborn: in contrast to the demagogues who claim the most vulnerable humans among us are not worthy of our moral consideration, the March proves that hundreds of thousands of people know better: that the unborn are human, that they deserve not to be killed, and that our legal institutions should reflect that reality to the greatest extent possible.