As States Implement Radical Abortion Laws, Other States Introduce Fetal Heartbeat Bills

By Connie Ross

The tide is turning and perhaps it was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reprehensible lighting up pink the One World Trade Center spire (a place built to commemorate the thousands of innocent lives lost on 9/11) to celebrate State legalization of abortions up to 40 weeks, or Virginia Governor Ralph Northam defending an abortion bill introduced by State Democrats which would legalize abortion up to the point a woman is going into labor that’s catalyzed a growing number of states to introduce anti-abortion fetal heartbeat legislation.

In Florida, Republicans Rep. Mike Hill and Sen. Dennis Baxley have been advancing companion bills in the House HB 235 and Senate SB 792 that would make it illegal for a physician to perform an abortion on a woman after a fetal heartbeat is detected via vaginal ultrasound (generally 6 weeks of gestation) unless the woman has been diagnosed with a condition that “on the basis of a physician’s good faith clinical judgment, would create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function if the woman delayed terminating her pregnancy.”

Both versions of the bill would impose third-degree felony charges for “any person who knowingly or purposefully performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human being whose fetal heartbeat has been detected.”

The proposed bills specifically strike “fetus” from the State’s abortion-related laws and replace the wording with “unborn human being”. Allowances are preserved for abortion in cases of incest, rape and human trafficking with legal documentation to prove the claim.

Currently abortions are banned in Florida only after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger or her physical health is seriously compromised. Governor Ron Desantis pledged in his campaign to sign a fetal heartbeat bill if one passed.

The biggest challenge to changing abortion law is the precedent set by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and other cases that determined the state cannot impose an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion before “fetal viability”, which generally occurs between 24 and 26 weeks.

Republican View

Republican views on abortion are “rooted firmly in the belief that an unborn child, like any individual in this country, has an individual right to life that should not be infringed upon by others. The party adamantly believes that the rights guaranteed to all Americans in the Fourteenth Amendment apply to unborn children as well.”

The Republican platform on abortion has four main elements, which have been fought for ever since they were outlined in the 1984 platform:

  • An unborn child has a “fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed”
  • Endorsement of a “human life” constitutional amendment, which would ban abortion
  • A call for judges who “respect human life” by supporting such an amendment
  • New laws to state that the fetus is a “person” under the 14th Amendment

Fetal heartbeat bills by state (Updated May 7, 2019)


Efforts to redirect abortion laws are going on at the Federal level as well. H.R. 962- Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced in February of 2019. It’s common sense legislation that requires the same appropriate medical care be given to a child who survives a botched abortion as any other child born alive, or be subject to criminal penalties. Speaker Pelosi has refused to bring the Born-Alive Act to the House floor, so the group Heritage Action is lobbying for members of the House to sign a “discharge petition” to force a vote on the Born-Alive Act, thereby holding members accountable.

So far 2019 has been a year of shocking political turbulence. In yet another act of defiance, the Democratic Governor of Wisconsin promised to veto a bill that would punish doctors who fail to provide medical care to newborn babies after a failed abortion attempt, because protecting born-alive babies in his words, “is not a productive use of time.” The counter response by Republicans is a broad effort to reset America’s moral compass. While the reckless media is pushing horrific stories that certainly resemble infanticide, there is a groundswell movement in states like Florida promoting an agenda of life. Unfortunately Florida’s 2019 legislative session concluded May 3rd, so we will not witness fetal heartbeat law come to fruition during this calendar year; however precedent is being set. As recently as May 7, 2019 Governor Brian Kemp signed a fetal heartbeat bill into law in Georgia, and Florida law makers are taking steps to do the same. Let’s take this time to thank and support our legislators who sponsored: HB 235 – (Hill with co-introducers: Altman, Bell, Beltran, Brannan, Byrd, DiCeglie, Fernandez-Barquin, Fischer, Gregory, Hage, McClain, Perez, Ponder, Roach, Robinson, Rodriguez A.M, Sabatini, Smith D, Stone, Yarborough) and SB 792 – (Baxley with co-introducers: Gainer, Broxson, Albritton, Diaz, Mayfield, Hutson, Flores, Perry, Gruters) and encourage them to reintroduce their bills in 2020.