Opponents of the Republican Party seek to portray it as somehow “anti-science” to further their political agendas.
On the issue of abortion, those same opponents suffer from selective memory as scientific advances have consistently affirmed the Republican Party position.
The 1973 Supreme Court cases of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Dobson effective legalized abortion on demand in the United States. Just three years later, the Republican Party’s 1976 platform laid out a measured, thoughtful statement on abortion that included support for the unborn.
The platform acknowledged even then that, “the question of abortion is one of the most difficult and controversial of our time. It is undoubtedly a moral and personal issue but it also involves complex questions relating to medical science and criminal justice.”
Further, the platform protested the Supreme Court’s “intrusion into the family structure” and most importantly the party wrote that it “supports the efforts of those who seek enactment of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children.”
In 1973, ultrasound imaging didn’t provide a clear image of a child in the womb. This and other factors let pro-choice activists frame their arguments by claiming the unborn child was a “blob of cells,” or “just tissue.” Now, 3D and 4D ultrasounds can show detailed imaged of a child developing at every stage, showing clearly the humanity of the unborn.
As science has progressed from 1973 to 2014, the Republican Party has remained a stalwart defender of innocent pre-born children and now that morally correct stance has been scientifically verified.
The National Library of Medicine, which is operated by the federal government, lists the following facts about a child’s development in the womb. By week six or seven of a pregnancy, a beating heart is present with a regular rhythm. By week 8, fingers and toes are identifiable. Between 11 and 14 weeks the baby can make a fist and by week 19 the baby can hear.
But those are just words everyone has heard before. Science is about evidence. To see what a child looks like in the womb at eight weeks, click here for a video of a 4D ultrasound. You’ll see a head, arms, legs and movement. The child is extremely small, but what is present is no doubt a living human being. If that isn’t human enough for you, watch this one at 20 weeks.
If the Republican Party is anti-science, why does science bear out the party’s long-held position that what is present in the womb is not merely an extension of a woman’s body, but a being with its own right to life? The question is rhetorical of course.
To be clear, abortion is still a difficult issue. Legitimate debates exist and will continue about abortion’s viability in the face of rape or incest. Also, much work remains to be done in making sure women facing unplanned pregnancies have the help and support they need to keep and care for their child.
But going back to 1973, the Republican Party of the United States has opposed abortion. The moral grounds seem obvious. With advances in modern science, the medical grounds are beginning to seem pretty obvious too.
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