The New York Times Argues That Fetal Heartbeat Isn’t Really A Heartbeat  

Photo by Todd Lappin license:Creative Commons

The New York Times published a story earlier this week arguing that the detectable fetal heartbeat that dictates restrictions on abortion in the state of Texas isn’t really a heartbeat, a claim which pro-life activists say is patently false.

“For decades, the scientific world has known that unborn children are living human beings whose lives begin at conception. Their hearts begin beating before any mother knows she’s pregnant and their body begins to develop very quickly, — well before abortions are routinely done to end their little lives,” LifeNews wrote in refutation of the Times’ piece, which was entitled Abortion Opponents Hear a ‘Heartbeat.’ Most Experts Hear Something Else.

The article claimed that Texas’ so-called Heartbeat Bill is based on a “singular premise disputed by many medical experts,” that is, that ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat at about six weeks pregnancy, at which point many women don’t even yet know that they’re pregnant.

Abortion advocates have taken issue with the early cutoff for abortion in the Lone Star State in part because they argue it doesn’t give women enough of a chance to abort their unborn babies, so the Times’ piece gives what’s likely a very welcome argument that six-week-old human embryos don’t even have heartbeats to begin with.

“At this very early stage of a pregnancy, however, the embryo is the size of a pomegranate seed and has only a primitive tube of cardiac cells that emit electric pulses and pump blood,” the piece states.

“Language has long been a battleground in the political struggle over abortion, and the sparring now centers on a word with deep resonance: ‘heartbeat,’” it continues.

The newspaper goes on to assert that “The consensus among most medical experts is that the electrical activity picked up on an ultrasound at six weeks is not the sound of a heart beating and does not guarantee a live birth. The sound expectant mothers hear during a scan is created by the machine itself, which translates the waves of electrical activity into something audible.”

This is a contention that Life News describes as “completely false.”

The pro-life outlet points to well-established science that has long since established when a fetal heartbeat begins, as well as new research from the University of Oxford that a heartbeat can begin even earlier than previously thought.

LifeNews notes that the researchers in this case never used the misleading term “embryonic pulsing,” but simply, “heartbeat.”

“By just eight weeks of pregnancy, doctors often can detect an unborn baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasonic stethoscope. Many moms get the opportunity to hear their baby’s heartbeat at this early point,” they note.

“The abortion industry is anxious to hide this information from mothers, though. Most abortions occur around the eight week mark, and women often report being told that their baby wasn’t a baby at that point – just a blob of tissue,” the outlet adds.

However misleading the Times may be when discussing what “experts” consider to be a “heartbeat,” this contention just further highlights the importance of understanding that all abortion, however small of a fetus it may be committed against, is wrong, and we here at Elizabeth Johnston Ministries always advocate for the full abolition of abortion on this premise.

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