Finally. There’s a bill that’s captured the pulse of America: H.R. 490, the Heartbeat Bill.
It’s a bill that evenly applies the medical measurement of life all the way to the womb. Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, summarizes his bill very simply: “If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.” And seven out of 10 people in America agree with him, according to a national Barna Group poll, most of them “strongly.”
Sponsor Mr. King and prime co-sponsors, Republican Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas, are standing on the line in the sand that’s already been drawn — if there’s a heartbeat, there’s life.
It’s the reason you’ve never been to the funeral of someone with a heartbeat.
The Heartbeat Bill makes so much sense, and the Barna poll found that such sense is actually “common.” The majority of America strongly agrees with the premise of the Heartbeat Bill: “If a doctor is able to detect the heartbeat of an unborn baby, that unborn baby should be legally protected.” Eighty-six percent of Republicans agree. Six out of 10 Independents agree. And, are you sitting down? A majority of Democrats — 55 percent — support the Heartbeat Bill.
Like an SOS, the child in the womb is sending a signal we can no longer ignore. To deny it is to deny science.
Heartbeat bills have been introduced in 17 states and have passed in three — Arkansas, North Dakota and Ohio. But Gov. John Kasich heartlessly vetoed Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill last December. If Mr. Kasich’s political career wasn’t over before, it is now.
While the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was bound by precedent to turn down the Arkansas and North Dakota Heartbeat laws, they asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, arguing that it should be the states who decide. The 8th Circuit Court rightly declared that “heartbeat” is a “more certain and consistent” indicator of life than the one the Supreme Court is currently using: viability.
The Supreme Court has said the states can protect human life if there’s a likelihood of survival to live birth. But the indicator they’re using now is a lousy one. In “Life, Heartbeat, Birth: A Medical Basis for Reform,” constitutional law professor David Forte points out that the determination of viability can be as much as 90 percent wrong, while detectable heartbeat is as much as 99 percent right. Heartbeat is the most accurate indicator of whether a child in the womb will survive to live birth. That means the court can simply move the line of allowable legal protection to a place that is more in keeping with its intent — heartbeat.
With the Heartbeat bill, instead of abortion stopping a beating heart, a beating heart will stop abortion. It will forever change the national debate from “how much we regulate abortion” and “whether or not we fund it” to real protection for babies whose beating hearts can be heard. There’s an easy way to help keep hearts beating — send “Valentine” cards to Congress encouraging them to support the Heartbeat Bill. You can mail one to President Trump and all 535 members of Congress for the price of postage at HeartBeatBill.com.
But what of the few who don’t agree that human heartbeats matter? Imagine what would happen if an anti-Trump protester threw a rock at the police, but accidentally hit someone right in the middle of her pink-horned hat — knocking her vulgar sign to the ground and rendering her unconscious. What would happen?
Even if the protester’s sign read, “I (F-bomb) hate babies with beating hearts,” before rushing her to the hospital, emergency workers would check for a pulse.
That’s because the heartbeat is the universal indicator of life — no matter what hat you wear. Everyone knows it. And almost everyone agrees that indicator should apply evenly to everyone.
Finally. An abortion bill on which America agrees. The first step to make America safe again is to pass the Heartbeat Bill — before the media tries to convince us that hospital heart monitors are there for decoration.
The Heartbeat Bill and the stunning results of the Barna Group poll will be discussed on the floor of the U.S. House on Feb. 16.
• Janet Porter is president of Faith2Action and author of the Heartbeat Bill.