Saturday, November 17, 2018

New Abortion Bill Helps Identify Views of Life and Death

Ohio Americans and their thoughts about abortion are represented in a new bill, which is in process, according to The New York Times.


The purpose of this post is to understand how people think about life and death. What people say about abortion reveals their values. The language of legislation and related penalties reflect their morality. Actions taken to support or challenge legislation also reveals their values.

According to the news report, the legality of an abortion would be determined by the presence of a heartbeat. Thus, abortion is legal if there is no identified heartbeat. Do you know when a heartbeat can be detected? At this point, a heartbeat can be detected at about six weeks.

When does human life begin? People are understandably divided about this issue. Facts exist about fetal development but facts alone do not dictate moral judgments. Some people think life begins at conception thus all abortions ought to be illegal. Others think abortions ought to be illegal when the unborn is able to survive outside the mother. Survival rates vary for early births. Medical advances come close to helping babies live when delivered near 20 weeks. Earlier this year, Congress and the President supported a bill aimed at allowing abortions up to 20 weeks. The bill did not pass the Senate (NYT).

The illegal abortion would be classified as a felony. Thus, the rhetoric of abortion as killing an unborn child, or murder, is not supported here. This language suggests a difference in thinking between unborn lives and babies.

The person who would become a criminal is the doctor. No other person is legally responsible for the act as described in the article.

The penalty for the abortion also indicates the moral importance of the act to those who wrote it and voted for it. Violators are subject to prison and a fine. Thus we glimpse their view of the value of the life of the unborn.

The motivation for the bill appears in the news story--to test Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the USA, this Ohio bill would be one of the most restrictive laws if enacted. Next year's governor will sign the bill, according to the story.

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