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COMMUNITY VOICE

Incredible, isn't it, senators, what we can see with the aid of ultrasound?

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 12:01 am

Out of 196 countries in the entire world, only four allow late-term abortions.

In Canada, taxpayer-funded abortions happen at any time in the pregnancy, for any reason. In North Korea, forced abortions and infanticide are the norm in political prison camps.

In China, the notorious one-child policy was established in 1979 to limit growth. And lastly in the U.S., the Congressional Budget Office estimates 11,000 fetuses are aborted every year after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Starting with Nebraska in 2010 and now on the books in 10 states is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As columnist Star Parker observed, “The Gosnell trial did for our national consciousness what ultrasound images provoke in a pregnant woman.” With pictures of a live child in the womb, the truth is graphically clear.

Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, H.R. 1797 was introduced in April of this year and passed the House on June 18. It was received in the Senate on June 19, read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Senate’s website relates the bill has 184 co-sponsors but only a 14 percent chance of passage.

If I could address the committee’s 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, I would express my gratitude for scientific advancement since 1973 and offer this — a freeze-frame description of the senators at like-chronological age.

Honorable senators, ladies and gentlemen, at 20 weeks gestation inside your mother’s womb, your brain has been working overtime developing the nerve centers dedicated to the five senses.

Elsewhere in your head, the bones of your inner ear are fully formed, and your nose is developing into its uniquely recognizable shape.

Visible are your eyebrows and eyelashes, fingernails and toenails. All of your ribs are attached to the thoracic vertebrae.

The four chambers of your heart were visible two weeks ago, and now your perfectly orchestrated circulatory system involves the precisely timed opening and closing of heart valves so that blood is directed to its correct destination.

Your stomach may appear full of fluid because you swallow amniotic fluid, which travels down your esophagus.

There are dark areas in your shoulder, elbows and end of the forearm; but no worry, as they represent the cartilage and growth plates at the end of these bones, which allows the shafts to continue to grow longer.

Your legs are well-formed, and muscle development is rapidly increasing as evidenced by your movements your mother started detecting two weeks ago.

Pain receptors are present throughout your entire body, and nerves link those receptors to your brain thalamus and subcortical plate. In fact, the neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, was in place by eight weeks!

Incredible isn’t it, senators, that we can now see with the aid of ultrasound how the fetus alters his breathing patterns, movements and reactions to alterations in his intrauterine environment? I, a non-professional, call this technology a window into the womb. Will you look through it, or turn away?

Becky Osbun is a resident of Fort Wayne.