Wisconsin Bill Would Ban Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 8, 2022   |   5:45PM   |   Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin state lawmakers hope to replicate Texas’s life-saving efforts by passing a law that protects unborn babies with beating hearts this year.

On Tuesday, the state Senate Committee on Government Operations held a hearing on a heartbeat bill, Senate Bill 923, sponsored by state Sen. Julian Bradley, R-Franklin, according to the AP.

The bill would prohibit abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is in danger. Like the Texas law, the bill includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows private individuals to sue abortionists who violate the abortion ban. Abortionists accused of violations also would be subjected to unprofessional conduct investigations by the state Medical Examining Board.

Bradley said he hopes to save unborn babies’ lives in Wisconsin just like Texas has been doing.

“After passing the heartbeat bill in September, 10,000 lives have been saved in Texas,” Bradley said in a statement online. “Every beating human heart ought to be protected from abortion. That’s why I’ve authored the bill for Wisconsin.”

If it passes, the legislation could save thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. According to the state health department, 6,511 abortions were performed in 2019. Most unborn babies are aborted after their hearts are beating.

TAKE ACTION: To support this pro-life legislation, Contact Wisconsin state senators.

Wisconsin Right to Life, which supports the bill, pointed to recent polling showing that half of Americans believe abortion should be illegal once an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected.

“A heartbeat is an undeniable sign of life, and reminds us of the humanity of unborn children who are deserving of protection,” said Gracie Skogman, legislative director at Wisconsin Right to Life. “The Wisconsin Heartbeat Act, if passed, would be a powerful step forward in ensuring the protection of all children, and furthers our mission of making abortion both illegal and unthinkable.”

The Wisconsin legislature has a Republican majority, and lawmakers have passed several pro-life bills in recent years. However, Gov. Tony Evers, a pro-abortion Democrat, has vetoed all of them.

This week, the Planned Parenthood abortion chain attacked the new heartbeat bill as “extreme,” according to the AP.

“Our family members, friends, and neighbors … should not be denied the ability to safely access time-sensitive health care,” said Mike Murray, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

But killing unborn babies in abortions is not health care, and Skogman said it’s clear that unborn babies are valuable even at their earliest stage of life.

“Ultrasound technology allows mothers to hear the beating of their child’s heart as early as six weeks,” she said. “Furthermore, by six weeks, a baby’s brain and spinal cord have started to develop, blood vessels begin forming in the circulatory system, and the baby has begun to develop pain receptors.”

Since 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court has forced states to legalize abortion on demand under Roe v. Wade. States that want to protect unborn babies may only do so once they reach the point of viability, currently about 22 weeks. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions up to birth.

However, the Supreme Court gave renewed hope to the pro-life movement last year when it refused twice to block the Texas heartbeat law. As a result, thousands of unborn babies’ lives have been saved from abortions since September.

Polls indicate that most Americans want stronger protections for unborn babies. Gallup has been asking about the legality of abortions by trimester for decades. Its polls have found steady, strong opposition to abortion on demand. Additionally, a 2019 Hill-HarrisX poll 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.

TAKE ACTION: To support this pro-life legislation, Contact Wisconsin state senators.