A secondary school student in Texas has been praised for her decision to open her otherwise pre-approved valedictorian speech at her year’s graduation ceremony to support abortion rights and slam Texas’ new anti-abortion law. The law falsely claims there is a heartbeat at six weeks of pregnancy and because of that it (unconstitutionally) makes all abortions illegal after six weeks. Her powerful one-minute statement was widely shared on social media. WATCH HERE
Countering anti-abortion falsehoods: Speaking of heartbeats, as we have reported previously, embryos do not yet have a heart or a heartbeat at six weeks. What is detectable at around six weeks (on ultrasound) is a “flicker”, which Ob-Gyn Robyn Schickler, with Physicians for Reproductive Health, says is communication between a group of cells that will eventually form a heart: “These cells are programmed with electrical activity, which will eventually send a signal [from the brain] telling the heart to contract, once there is a heart.” However, she adds, that signal requires a brain, another body part that embryos do not yet have at six weeks.
SOURCE: The Cut, by Katie Heaney, 24 May 2019