The bill “articulates the preciousness of human life,” Rep. Steve King, R-IA, said during an event on Capitol Hill this Tuesday. He was flanked by pro-life activists holding red heart-shaped balloons.
“Science has told us you can hear that beating heart,” said King. “We may well hear that in hearings as we go forward here in this Congress.”
King was joined by pro-life members of Congress including Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX. Janet Porter, the woman behind the heartbeat bill that passed the Ohio legislature but was vetoed by Gov. John Kasich, was there, as was Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and Church on the Hill DC.
“We hope it doesn’t take as long as it took in Ohio,” said Mark Harrington of Created Equal. “But it’s a new day in Washington…we will work very, very hard to see this come to pass in the Congress and be signed by President Trump as soon as possible.”
This bill “makes a lifesaving stride in enshrining the rights of the unborn in US law,” said King. “No child for whom a heartbeat can be detected is aborted unless the life of the child’s mother is endangered…The core tenet is this: if a heartbeat can be detected, the baby is protected.”
The Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 490), which King introduced, mandates that abortionists check for a fetal heartbeat before committing abortions. They may not commit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The only exception to this law would be if a mother's life was in danger. The bill specifies that this does not include “psychological or emotional conditions.”
On Tuesday, the House voted to permanently ban taxpayer funding of abortion. President Trump has promised to sign the bill if it passes the Senate.