Sen. Lankford marks anniversary of Roe v. Wade: When ‘will law catch up with our science?’

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( – In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday about the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said the decision shifted values in the U.S. such that there was a change “from ‘there’s a baby on the way’” to “that family gets to choose if that’s a baby or not.’”

“Forty-three years ago, as a country, there was a decision made by the Supreme Court. That decision forever changed the structure of our families, forever changed a valuing within the country,” Lankford said.

“The value shifted 43 years ago, and it changed from ‘there’s a baby on the way’ to ‘that family gets to choose if that’s a baby or not,’ to literally be able to say, based on the preference of the mom, it’s tissue or it’s a baby,” he said.

Lankford said that to him it was “remarkable” that “much of the conversation now circles around preference.”

“Americans have lost track of this basic thing,” he said. “That’s not tissue in the womb when that pregnancy test comes up positive. That’s a baby. Regardless of the preference of any individual, that’s a baby on the way. Cells are dividing.”

Lankford also brought up technological advances since Roe v. Wade in the viability of premature babies and in sonograms, asking “at what point will our law catch up with our science? How long will we deny the clear science here?”

“They look in with a sonogram and count ten fingers, 10 toes. If you were to reach in and actually do a DNA test, you would find out that lump of issue that is in there is not tissue,” he said, pointing out, “it has DNA different than the mom, different than the dad.

“That’s a child, and it’s a unique life, and that life is not determined based on preference. That life is determined based on that dividing cells child with 10 fingers and toes.”

Lankford said that when the Supreme Court looked at the issue in 1973, there were a lot of arguments about “viability or what they call quickening.”

“Now, in 1973, viability was very different than what it is today. There are many children that are born, if you’ll go to NICU units, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, that you’ll go and you’ll find a very large area in most hospitals.” Lankford said.

“You ought to go by and visit and walk into the NICU area, because you’ll find many rooms and many beds there where decades ago that wasn’t true, because children at 22 weeks and 24 weeks didn’t survive before, and now a higher and higher percentage are,” he said.

“The technology continues to advance,” Lankford said. He said he asks his colleagues, “At what point will our law catch up with our science? How long will we deny the clear science here and understand that’s a child?

“I think in the decades ahead, our nation will catch up to the science, and we’ll look back on a season in our country when we ignored the obvious,” he continued. “When a pregnancy test says ‘positive,’ that’s not positive for tissue. That’s positive for a baby.”

Lankford concluded by praising the thousands of volunteers coming into D.C. for the 42nd annual March for Life on Friday.

“I’m always proud when Americans stand up for other Americans no matter how weak they are,” he said.

— Written by Lauretta Brown