The Maneater

Column: The U.S. is still failing the most innocent of its citizens

The Senate rejected a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks even though it has been confirmed that these unborn children can feel pain during the procedure.

Brandon Bartlett is a freshman political science major at MU. He is an opinions columnist who writes about politics for The Maneater.

As the Senate recently decided to reject a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, the law of the United States remains complacent in the killing of hundreds of thousands of unborn children every year.

Before I get into the details of this great atrocity, I would like to make clear that I thoroughly believe the United States of America is the greatest country in the world. This does not, however, excuse the great stain that grows on the history of our country — that is, the legality of abortion, in cases other than those that would risk the mother’s life.

Just to begin, let’s address the idea that a fetus and an unborn baby are not the same thing. Many who would call themselves pro-abortion rights often claim that an abortion does not end a life because the thing in a pregnant woman’s womb is not a baby, but a fetus. A fetus and unborn child are the same thing. According to, a fetus is “the young of an animal in the womb or egg, especially in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation.”

Furthermore, 29 states consider it double homicide to kill a pregnant woman at any point of the child’s development and nine states consider it double homicide after a certain point in the child’s gestation. One of those nine states includes California, which has been known to vote for the Democratic candidates consistently since the early ‘90s. So if the majority of states in the U.S. already accept that a so-called fetus is a life, why do we allow the child’s mother to choose to kill them? Maybe I’m not of the majority opinion, but I don’t think whether a woman wants her baby or not constitutes whether she gets to end its life.

Another argument typically used by pro-abortion rights advocates is that it is the woman’s right to choose whether she wants to have an abortion or not because it’s her body. This argument has so many holes in it, the largest of course being: You cannot murder your child, or any other human for that matter, unless they are a threat to your life.

Another equally large hole in this logic is it is not only her body. The procedure of an abortion is almost entirely about a body other than the mother’s. To be clear, I am all for women doing whatever they want with their bodies, but ending your developing child’s life isn’t doing what you want with your body. You shouldn’t just get to decide you can end your child’s life because you don’t want to be a parent yet, or you can’t afford it, because you could say the same thing about a child after it is born.

I’m sure there is a time in every parent’s life when they wish they could just get away from kids and not have to deal with them. They might find it hard to buy food and clothes for their kids, but they don’t get to just kill them. I also feel deeply, deeply sorry for any woman who is sexually assaulted and becomes pregnant as a result of it, but we should not kill the innocent children of the most evil people among us. There is always the option of putting the child up for adoption after it is born.

There are many other times when an abortion seems to be justified, but is the same as killing an innocent person, the only difference being whether they are in the womb or outside of it. There have always been injustices in life, and there most likely always will be, no matter how large or small they are. It is important we fight against those injustices when they occur and call them out for what they really are.

As of 2014, there have been an estimated 59,115,995 unborn children killed since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, which gave women the constitutional right to have an abortion. Those 59,115,995 children all could’ve had their own individual lives that touched the world in their own way if allowed to live.

This bill should easily have bipartisan backing from the findings of modern science. We now know that at 20 weeks of gestation a baby has: a beating heart, ears they can hear with, developing organs, taste buds, arms, legs, a head with its own face. A growing number of scientists and medical professionals also believe an unborn baby at 20 weeks gestation can feel the pain of being torn limb from limb and pulled from the womb during an abortion during the second trimester. These unborn babies are about 6.5 inches from head to bottom, which would just barely fit into the average person’s hand.

Human life has been scientifically proven to begin at conception, so I believe we should ban all abortions unless it will save the life of the mother. The Senate bill would’ve been a step in the right direction. There are four other choices you can make rather than killing an innocent child, and those are parenthood, adoption, birth control or abstinence. As individuals and as a country, we should all choose one of those because choosing one of those is choosing life.

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