Idaho Governor Brad Little signed into law a pro-life bill today to protect unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable.
Sponsored by state Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Caldwell, and Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, the bill would prohibit abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions would be allowed for rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life.
“Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives – the lives of babies. We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn,” Little said
The governor added: “Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy. I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today.”
Senator Patti Anne Lodge, the bill’s sponsor, said, “We have a multitude of services available for women in crisis pregnancies. Choosing life is supported with compassionate help throughout the pregnancy and extends to 18 months after birth. Life goals can still be achieved for both the mother and child. With the availability of compassionate and supportive services and the rights pregnant women have in today’s world, a woman can give birth and continue her life goals.”
A number of states have passed heartbeat laws in recent years, but all have been banned from enforcing them due to legal challenges by abortion activist groups. States with heartbeat laws include Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Tennessee. So this bill contains a trigger provision that would take effect only if a court in the U.S. upholds another heartbeat law.
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Blaine Conzatti, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, appluaded passage.
“Thanks to modern medical technology, every new parent now knows the excitement of first hearing their son or daughter’s heartbeat during early prenatal check-ups. This explains why a reputable national poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans – including 55 percent of Democrats – support this life-affirming legislation,” Conzatti said.
“The Idaho Heartbeat Bill is constitutionally, scientifically, and morally sound. Governor Brad Little should sign this Heartbeat Bill and recommit Idaho as a pro-life state leading the charge in offering legal protection for its youngest and most defenseless residents. Preborn babies with beating hearts deserve the same constitutional right to life accorded to any other living person.”
Stanton Healthcare, based in Boise, is a pregnancy center that provides support and abortion alternatives to pregnant women. Its officials supported the bill in the legislature and thanked Governor Little for signing it.
Stanton’s mobile clinic unit was parked in front of the Capitol Building (photo) to conduct live ultrasounds as State Legislators and members of the Press were invited to hear actual heartbeats of preborn children which afforded them the opportunity to “testify” in support of this legislation.
McKinzy Troudt, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) with Stanton Healthcare, testified: “At Stanton, we want every woman to be educated about what is happening in her body before she makes a very weighty decision that will follow her for the rest of her life.”
Samantha Doty, PA, Director of Clinical Services at Stanton, also testified to the scientific details of the developing heart of the preborn child: “The importance of a beating heart is as important at the end of life as it is as the beginning of life. When an abortion happens, a beating heart is stopped and a life is forever ended. How is it that the courts recognize the unborn baby as an individual human being in the case of homicide, but ignore the same fact in the setting of abortions?
“Abortion is not women’s health care. Medical professionals take an oath to ‘do no harm.’ If ending the heartbeat of a tiny baby is not the epitome of ‘harm,’ then I don’t know what is.”
Brandi Swindell, Founder and CEO of Stanton Healthcare, added, “Stanton applauds Governor Brad Little for signing this historic legislation. We believe this ‘Heartbeat Bill’ will be a powerful step in bringing an end to abortion violence by giving women medically accurate information and ensuring every child in Idaho is protected and treated with equality.”
Americans support strong limits on abortion. A 2019 Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive. Gallup polls also consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal.
Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the 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.
Though a majority of the justices are Republican appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the liberal justices on a number of occasions.
In 1973, the Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.