‘Fetal heartbeat’ that defines Texas’ new abortion laws doesn’t exist, say doctors

'Fetal heartbeat' that defines Texas' new abortion laws doesn't exist, say doctors

An abortion in Texas is now illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, because that is when the heartbeat begins to beat.

However, experts state that a heartbeat is not evident at 6 weeks.

An unborn child of six weeks has no cardiovascular system, thus the sound of the machine thumping comes from that.

In Texas, new rules prohibit abortions beyond six weeks, when a “fetal heartbeat” is visible and most women are unaware they are pregnant.

A growing number of medical professionals, however, are claiming that the “foetal heartbeat” isn’t an actual medical stage in foetal development, putting doubt on the bill.

The opening and closing of the heart’s valves produce the thump-thump noises that are characteristic of human heartbeats.

A 6-week-old baby’ heartbeat, according to Dr. Nisha Verma, a gynaecologist who specialises in abortion treatment at the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists.

To quote her words: “At six weeks of gestation such valves don’t exist.”

In fact, these valves take roughly 9-10 weeks to produce.

In truth, the flickering we see on the ultrasound is actually electrical activity, and the sound you ‘hear’ is actually produced by the ultrasound equipment. Additions by Dr. Verma

In addition, OB-GYN and associate professor Dr. Jennifer Kerns told NPR that this noise is not indicative of a functioning heart or cardiovascular system.

According to Dr. Kerns, the phrase is intended to ease medical interactions with patients – akin to using the term stomachache instead of gastroenteritis or dizzy spell instead of vertigo – and is not intended to be used to create legislation.

An embryo is the proper word for six weeks after conception.

“Fetus” conveys ideas of a well-formed baby, Kern says, so it’s better to use that phrase instead of “embryo,” she says, because embryos don’t look like babies. They are deliberately employed in a way that is both misleading and deceptive.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a number of legislation have been created to limit abortion access based on this false notion of a foetal heartbeat, but the Texas law is the first to go into action.

It’s now almost 200 miles for anyone in Texas who needs or wants an abortion.

There is no evidence that abortion prohibitions like Texas’ new law – which is essentially a ban on safe and legal abortions – stop abortions.

It turns out that countries that ban abortions have greater abortion rates.


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