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National Version of Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill” Introduced In House of Representatives


In their quest to make the political world of The Handmaid’s Tale a reality, anti-choice activists have found an ally. Iowa Congressman Steve King introduced a national version of Ohio’s vetoed “Heartbeat Bill” in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected, or at roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Many women do not even know they are pregnant at that point.

In a statement on his website, King said, “My legislation will require all physicians, before conducting an abortion, to detect the heartbeat of the unborn child. If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.” This stands in direct opposition to the rulings by the Supreme Court in Roe V. Wade and Planned Parenthood V. Casey, which allow abortions up until fetal viability can be established (generally viewed as 22-24 weeks).

It’s worth noting that Governor Kasich eventually ended up vetoing Ohio’s heartbeat bill. Similarly restrictive bills in North Dakota (“heartbeat” bill) and Arkansas (12-week ban) were also defeated in court. However, Kasich still signed a 20-week ban into law. And with the promise of a Trump Supreme Court nominee and a Congressional movement to defund Planned Parenthood, it’s clear that anti-choice activists feel emboldened to once again try and pass unconstitutional laws.

As always in these cases, U.S. voters should call their representatives to voice their opposition, particularly if they live in King’s district. It’s unclear if this bill will even get out of committee, but given the current political climate, it’s probably best to be vigilant.

(via The Slot)

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