Grace Carr, DCNF
The House heard arguments for the “Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017” Wednesday to decide whether to adopt a bill banning any abortion upon detection of a heartbeat, which usually occurs around six weeks gestation.
“It pains my soul to think of the countless babies killed since abortion-on-demand became commonplace in the unconstitutional decision in Roe vs. Wade … We are decades past the time to defend the sanctity of human life,” said Iowa Rep. Steve King.
The bill, introduced by King, mandates that the presiding doctor must determine whether a fetus has a detectable heartbeat, and inform the mother of the results before proceeding with an abortion. Doctors who violate the law would be subject to five years in prison.
King cited the Carter administration, which defined life as starting at conception. “With the passage of time, the human organism grows from a single cell to a fully developed adult. Life begins when a male sperm unites with a female egg. The new life created from this union starts as a single cell,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wrote during the Carter administration.
“It’s time to codify what we know to be true,” King said. “If the heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected,” he added, positing that the government has a duty to uphold the Fourteenth Amendment and its Equal Protection Clause.
Passing the Heartbeat Protection Act would be an “undeniable constitute right to terminate a pregnancy,” Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen said, arguing that it directly violates Roe v. Wade. He added that the bill would only be constitutional if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
“Over and over again the court has reaffirmed Roe’s essential holding,” Professor Priscilla Smith said in agreement with Cohen.
However, the Founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Star Parker, didn’t agree. She recounted that she had heard all the propaganda of abortion peddlers when she was young, prompting her to get four abortions in her youth. She insisted there is a great need for the Heartbeat Protection Act, given that abortion clinics tell pregnant women nothing about their infant’s development in the womb.
This bill “goes to the very heart of who we are as a human family. It also goes to the heart of who we are as Americans,” Arizona Rep. Trent Franks also said at the hearing.
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