Hi I’m State Representative Andrew Koenig and today we’re facing what I believe to be one of the biggest crisis’ in the United States. Abortion. Whether you agree that life begins at conception or not, the evidence for human life in the womb is substantial.
Here’s the facts.
- An unborn child at 3-4 weeks has a heartbeat that can clearly be viewed by an ultrasound.
- By six weeks the child has active brain waves that can be monitored.
- At 7-8 weeks it is argued that a baby can feel pain. This is for two reasons: the pain sensors have developed and when an abortion is performed at this stage the ‘fetus’ will try to move away from the utensils. Most abortions are conducted between six and nine weeks.
- At 10-11 weeks this ‘fetus’ has the appearance of a baby and has every organ that it will need in their adult life. You may also be able to tell the sex of the baby via an ultrasound.
- Right around 16 weeks most mothers begin feeling the baby’s first kicks.
There are many issues to debate I’ll touch on a few keys points.
First is location. Some believe that if your child is still in the womb then it’s not a child, when the baby is born “poof” it suddenly becomes human. This argument is illogical. In the procedure to correct spina bifida the child is removed from the womb for surgery and then returned to the womb. Did returning to the womb make this child no longer human? A child born at 24 weeks can survive if given the proper care, is this when a child becomes human? If one location makes you more human then another location then does living in St. Louis make you more human than living in New York? Why would the location of human life be restricted to whether or not a child passes through a narrow canal?
Second point is development. Some would say an unborn child is not fully formed and therefore not human. If you say the organs necessary for life need to be fully functioning to be considered human, what then of the individual that develops heart disease and needs a heart transplant? Did this person lose their humanity? What about brain waves? If a baby at six weeks gestation has them is that not human enough?
Third is the level of dependency. A child in the womb is fully dependant on the mother for sustenance, warmth, and protection from the outside world. I know of no child that after being born was no longer dependant on someone to take care of him. This brings up the issues of pacemakers, iron lungs, or replacement organs. If you can’t live without these are you less human because of your dependency? Of course not! Then neither should a child be considered human on the basis of dependency.
When life is decided by location, stage of development, or level of dependency, then you’re in a race against the clock. The race begins at conception and ends at an unknown finish line, one that changes with each individual or majority opinion. Science tells us life begins at conception and that’s what I believe. It is the destruction of this potential for life that is the destruction of life itself. In Missouri, abortions peaked in 1984 at 22%. With women being more educated about the life of their baby it has dramatically fallen to below 8% today. This is why I sponsor and cosponsor legislation that places more information in the hands of women and places more regulations on abortion facilities.