Weeks after House Republicans, the ghosts of Confederate soldiers that currently haunt Congress, voted to ban abortions at 20 weeks, they will begin discussing the merits of an alarming bill that would make a majority of abortions illegal.
On Wednesday, November 1, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017, which criminalizes abortions performed “without determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat” and those performed after “a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.” Physicians who perform such abortions, or fail to informing the mother of the heartbeat results, are subject to a fine and up to five years in prison. The bill makes exceptions only “to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical (but not psychological or emotional) disorder, illness, or condition.” There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
As NARAL’s States Communications Director James Owens pointed out on Twitter, the bill would effectively ban all abortions around 6 weeks—the point where a fetal heartbeat is detected and women first learn that they are pregnant.
The bill’s sponsor is none other than parasitic disease Iowa Rep. Steve King, a man who believes whites are the superior race. “Human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all of its forms and today, I introduced a bill that will protect the lives of voiceless innocents,” King said in a press release announcing the bill in January. “My legislation will require all physicians, before conducting an abortion, to detect the heartbeat of the unborn child. If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”
“The GOP’s crazy obsession with banning all abortions in this country knows no end, no boundary, and no common sense. Their latest crazy, and clearly unconstitutional, idea is a ban that applies to women who don’t even know they’re pregnant yet, intentionally preventing them from accessing care altogether, said Sasha Bruce, NARAL Pro-Choice America Senior Vice President, in a statement emailed to Jezebel. “Instead of wasting taxpayer money pursuing ideas meant only to pander to their shrinking base, Congress should focus their attention on the numerous crises this country faces, many largely caused by the Republican Party’s inability to govern.”