Newsweek: Lankford: Two Years After Dobbs, One Question Matters—When Does Life Begin? | Opinion

June 28, 2024

Today marks two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision wasn’t a federal ban on abortion. The Supreme Court simply ruled that the Constitution doesn’t include a federal right to have an abortion and returned the decision of when life begins back to the elected representatives and the people. The decision wasn’t a radical political move by the Court; it was an obvious decision based on the plain reading of the Constitution.

Since the decision two years ago, the American Left, and its loyal allies in the media, have pushed a false narrative that Republicans want to take away access to IVF treatments and birth control, which is completely false. Every state in America protects access to IVF and contraceptives. The hard Left ignores the real work that needs to be done to support moms and babies, like ensuring moms can receive child support payments while they are pregnant or improving foster care or adoption. We should also prioritize investments in women’s health and research by utilizing existing federal programs to improve the options for women and medical professionals working to treat infertility. IVF is an option, but it is often a very expensive and invasive one.

In the past week, I brought a bill to the floor of the Senate to protect the conscience rights of health care providers, but it was blocked by my Democratic colleagues. The thought of requiring someone who went into health care to protect life, to instead take life, in direct violation their moral convictions, is another example of how extreme the far Left has become on the issue of abortion. Not only are they fighting each day for right to abortion, right up to the moment of delivery, but they also will not accept anyone else’s convictions that may differ from theirs.

On this second anniversary of the Dobbs decision, Americans remain divided on the issue of life. My challenge to America is to talk about the value of children more, not less, by asking a basic question of every citizen: “When do you think life begins?”

Science tells us that when an egg gets fertilized, the new cell created has its own DNA that is distinct from the mother or father. This process isn’t just a biological fertilization, it’s the creation of a new human being. The baby’s unique DNA at the very beginning determines a great deal about who this child will become, including eye color, hair color, and height. Just a few weeks later, the baby will already show a preference for being right or left-handed. It will have eyes, lips, fingernails, eyebrows, taste buds, and a nose. It can hear its mother’s voice, and it can feel pain.

The fundamental debate on when life begins is really a question of what is different about a baby in the womb as opposed to a baby outside of the womb. When a baby is born, you can count the same ten fingers and ten toes that were counted on its sonogram. A baby will suck its thumb, sleep, and kick its feet inside the womb and outside. The only difference between the child in the womb and outside of the womb is time.