Heartbeat International joins a "friend of the court" brief in support of Rosa Acuna's petition. On Friday, Acuna's attorney Harold Cassidy filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the egregious New Jersey Supreme Court decision in the case of Rosa Acuna v. Sheldon C. Turkish, MD. "As an association dedicated to helping women, we call on the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the New Jersey Court's precedent and to require abortionists to provide medically accurate details about the gestational development of a human baby," said Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D.
"The facts are a baby's heart begins beating at 21 days and brain waves can be measured at six weeks. Women deserve the truth." With Acuna v. Turkish, the New Jersey High Court set the legal precedent that a doctor can legally deceive a woman considering abortion. The ruling held that a doctor who performs an abortion has no responsibility to present precise biological information to a woman about her unborn child or the abortion procedure risks."When a woman comes into a Heartbeat center seeking abortion information, she wants to know what is happening with and in her body. We tell her about abortion procedures and show her fetal models or pictures of fetal development," said Hartshorn. "A doctor should have the responsibility of explaining human development to his patient. She has a right to be fully informed before she submits to an abortion procedure. The woman's health risks increase without this information."
Turkish told Rosa Acuna that she should not "be stupid" because the only thing being removed was "just blood." Turkish testified that he routinely tells women it is "just some tissue." By any standard these statements are false and misleading. Heartbeat International and its affiliates advocate for the safe reproductive health and well-being of women. Abortion is not a medical "treatment" that can improve a woman's health. Women seen in Heartbeat's pregnancy centers testify daily to the painful physical and emotional effects of abortion.
Heartbeat International, founded in 1971, is an interdenominational Christian association of nearly 1,100 pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, non-profit adoption agencies, and medical clinics in 48 states and 42 countries. Heartbeat provides www.OptionLine.org (800-395-HELP), a joint venture with Care Net, to connect callers with a local pregnancy center for the help they need. Each month our national call center responds to approximately 20,000 contacts.