Pennsylvania Bill Would Ban Abortions on Unborn Babies With Beating Hearts

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 7, 2019   |   8:37PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania lawmakers hope to advance a bill this fall that would protect unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable.

PennLive reports state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz and Sen. Doug Mastriano recently began circulating a memo asking for co-sponsors of their pro-life legislation.

“This legislation will be another great rallying cry for us to save babies around this state and possibly around the nation,” Borowicz said in her memo.

The bill would require doctors to determine if an unborn baby has a heartbeat; and if the baby does, an abortion would be prohibited. Unborn babies’ heartbeats are detectable around six weeks of pregnancy, though research suggests the heartbeat may begin as early as 16 days after conception.

“This legislation will honor the science that shows more than 90 percent of all pregnancies are viable when a heartbeat is detected,” Mastriano said in his memo.

The legislation mirrors similar efforts in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio to protect unborn babies from abortion. However, none of their heartbeat laws currently are in effect because of pro-abortion legal challenges.

The Pennsylvania bill has not even been introduced yet, but already pro-abortion Gov. Tom Wolf has said he will veto it, according to the report. Wolf used to volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and maintains close ties to the billion-dollar abortion group.

Wolf’s spokesman, J.J. Abbott, slammed the bill, claiming it “defies all medical and practical understanding of modern women’s health care.”

Despite the veto threat, the pro-life sponsors believe it is time to have the debate in Pennsylvania. Mastriano told the local news that abortion has been “legislated from the courts rather than by the people” for too long.

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“I really truly see it as a life and death issue and what can I do to try to save lives,” he said. “If we approach it from the scientific perspective, maybe it’ll win some over.”

Ashley Lenker White, executive director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, dismissed the bill as a waste of time and money, according to the report.

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws. In January, a judge declared an Iowa heartbeat law unconstitutional.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

The Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.

Though a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican presidents, they seem hesitant to accept abortion cases. Earlier this year, the court rejected several pro-life cases that would have upheld moderate abortion restrictions.