Op Ed: It’s time to follow the science and protect life

Senator Judy Ward, Senator Doug Mastriano, and Representative Stephanie Borowicz

As advocates for unborn children, we are proud to jointly introduce legislation to protect unborn babies with beating hearts.

Similar to heartbeat legislation passed in 11 states, under Senate Bill 378 and House Bill 904, detection of an unborn baby’s beating heart would prevent an abortion in Pennsylvania.

Abortion is one of the most difficult topics to discuss in our nation, as it is tied to deeply personal and emotional issues. But now is the time to have an open and honest discussion on this very difficult matter. Scientific and medical advances of the past 50 years have laid to waste the idea that the baby in the womb is simply a mass of tissue.  It’s time for a discussion that includes a science-based and logical dialogue on this very important issue of our generation.

If a person is pronounced dead when their heartbeat stops, why are they not considered alive when their heartbeat begins? Psalms 139: 13-14 makes it simple: ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ At the most fundamental level, this heartbeat bill would guarantee that Pennsylvanian children have the right to be born.

The legislation will require physicians, before proceeding with an abortion, to determine whether the baby has a heartbeat. If the baby has a heartbeat, then the abortion cannot be performed. This will eliminate the need to establish a gestational age in legislation and will reflect the science showing that more than 90 percent of pregnancies in which a heartbeat is detected are viable.

Current Pennsylvania law permits abortions in up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether a heartbeat is detected. The legislation retains current exceptions for the health of the mother.

This past year has given us all a new perspective on the sanctity of life. We call on our fellow state legislators to take a stand and join us in protecting the unborn. We have a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless.

Senator Judy Ward represents the 30th Senate District, which includes Blair County, Fulton County, and portions of Cumberland, Franklin, and Huntington counties.

Senator Doug Mastriano represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes all of Adams County, and portions of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.

Representative Stephanie Borowicz represents the 76th Legislative District, which includes portions of Centre and Clinton County.