The Valley Star 

Los Angeles Valley College

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Heartbeat bills prove to be Heartless

Republicans don't care about children – they just want to control women.

Tate Coan, Online Editor


Credit: Solomon Smith

In an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade, lawmakers have introduced heartbeat bills in a number of states, limiting a woman's right to control her own body.


Heartbeat bills or abortion restrictions have been passed in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama being the most strict with no exception in the case of incest or rape. These bills prevent women from legally getting an abortion after a heartbeat is detected from the embryo. Heartbeats are typically detected after five weeks of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This is about two weeks after a missed period, before many women know they are pregnant. These lawmakers are essentially stating that life starts when a heartbeat is first detected.


They want embryos to be considered living people with as many rights as any other person, while completely ignoring the ridiculousness of such claims. If we go off the assumption that an embryo with a heartbeat is entitled to the same rights as any other child or person, then an abortion would still be considered legal for a multitude of reasons.


First off, when a woman is pregnant, the embryo or fetus, cannot survive without her. The fetus’ lungs are not fully formed until about 36 weeks, according to the American Pregnancy Association, meaning it cannot even breathe properly until the third trimester. Essentially, the woman is serving as life support. If we are treating an embryo or fetus as any other living child, then it is still up to the parent to decide whether or not to continue using a method of life support to keep the child or embryo “alive”.


A common argument by anti-abortionists is “if life ends when your heart stops beating, then why doesn’t life begin when it starts beating?” Fun fact about the U.S. legal system: a person is not legally considered dead until their breathing and heartbeat has stopped or they are brain dead, according to the Uniform Determination of Death Act. A fetus does not start to develop their lungs until about 26 weeks after conception, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Before that they do not even have the ability to breathe, so they can’t legally be a living person.


While not taking rape into account, many people might argue that consent to sex is consent to pregnancy — it’s not. Just like consent to smoking is not consent to lung cancer. If a fetus or embryo is considered to be a person with legal rights, that does not expunge the rights of the pregnant woman. If one person was taking blood, food from inside of the body, and money from another person without consent, that would be considered to be a violent assault as well as theft.


Congratulations conservatives, you just made all embryos technically criminals, which is completely absurd and borderline comical. That’s because considering embryos to be human beings with legal rights is absurd and comical.


While you cannot deny that an embryo is made up of living cells they are no more living than an appendix. No one is trying to make appendix removal illegal. The only difference is that embryos can only exist inside the female body which makes male politicians think they have the right to police them.