Here’s Why Meghan McCain Was Wrong for Coming for Stacey Abrams on Twitter

Here’s Why Meghan McCain Was Wrong for Coming for Stacey Abrams on Twitter

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McCain’s tweet came in response to a video of Abrams being circulated by conservatives on Twitter, where Abrams says that there is “no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks.”

The video was met with a bunch of attacks from folks like McCain, who said that they had heard their babies’ heartbeats at five and six weeks, so Abrams must be stupid or lying. But here’s the thing folks: Abrams is 100% right. Just check out what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has to say about it.

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“It is clinically inaccurate to use the word ‘heartbeat’ to describe the sound that can be heard on ultrasound in very early pregnancy,” writes the ACOG. “In fact, there are no chambers of the heart developed at the early stage in pregnancy that this word is used to describe, so there is no recognizable ‘heartbeat.’”

According to ACOG, a fetus’ heart valves aren’t developed until around roughly 17 to 20 weeks of gestation. So what are you actually hearing on an ultrasound machine? That’s simple: The sound you hear on the ultrasound is the machine translating electrical impulses from the embryo into what sounds like a heartbeat. It’s not a real heartbeat because, at that stage, an embryo doesn’t have a beating heart.

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But to be totally fair here, McCain isn’t alone in this misunderstanding. Politicians in several states passed fetal heartbeat bills over the last few years. And I get the confusion. It’s really hard to explain to folks who think they’re hearing their babies’ heartbeats for the first time that it’s all just one big misunderstanding, but there’s a little less leeway when it comes to politicians and public figures.

And as for McCain, it might be worth doing a quick fact-check before popping off on Twitter.

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