Following the Science on Texas Heartbeat Act
Washington, D.C. – With a national debate raging over the new Texas law which protects life from the first heartbeat, what does science say about unborn babies at 6 weeks’ gestation?
“While some people falsely claim that a preborn baby at 6 weeks’ gestation is just a clump of cells, science demonstrates the baby is already a complex human being,” said Dr. Tara Sander Lee, senior fellow and director of life sciences at the nonprofit Charlotte Lozier Institute. “A preborn baby’s heart is actively beating at 6 weeks and will have already beat nearly 16 million times by 15 weeks. In fact, at 6 weeks’ gestation, the baby’s heart rate is about 98 beats per minute, which can be easily detected by ultrasound.”
With more than 60 credentialed scientists, scholars, practicing physicians, statisticians, and other academics, Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) has been studying, analyzing, and cataloguing the science of life for 10 years. Later this month, CLI will unveil a new educational website detailing what science says about unborn babies at each week of prenatal development.
The peer-reviewed science on babies at 6 weeks’ gestation includes:
- The heart is actively beating at 6 weeks. Between conception and birth the baby’s heart will beat approximately 54 million times.
- The baby’s average heart rate is 98 BPM. This will rise to 175 BPM by 9 weeks’ gestation.
- The presence of a heartbeat at 6-8 weeks’ gestation correlates with a live birth rate of 98% in normal pregnancies without intervention.
- The brain has divided into three primary sections responsible for sensing and decision-making, moving and tracking objects, and vital body functions.
- Eyes, ears, and nose start forming.
CLI President Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan added:
“Science highlights what the abortion industry tries to hide. Even at 6 weeks’ gestation, these little boys and little girls are amazingly complex human beings with a beating heart. A heart that beats like yours and mine.
“Don’t lose sight of the unmistakable humanity of these kids amid legal debates and contrived distractions. Protecting an unborn child with a heartbeat tests whether we have a heart, too.”
- At Different Times in Life, Robin Pierucci, M.D., M.A., CLI associate scholar
- Fact Sheet: Fetal Survival and Risk of Pregnancy Loss, Charlotte Lozier Institute
- A Scientific View of When Life Begins, Maureen Condic, Ph.D., CLI associate scholar
Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.