On Thursday, Rewire reported that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a bill that would effectively ban abortion.
King’s bill is a national version of the so-called Heartbeat bills that have been passed in several Republican states. The bill seeks to ban abortion once fetal cardiac activity is detected. This often happens as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, which is before some women even know they are pregnant.
King is well aware that such a law would amount to a total ban on abortion. According to a statement issued on his website, King believes that Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional despite the fact that it is the judicial branch, not the legislative, that determines what is constitutional.
‘Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government.
‘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.
‘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 bill does allow for exceptions if the life of the mother is in danger, but makes no provisions for cases of incest or rape.
Bills such as this one have been proposed in 17 states and were approved in Arkansas and North Dakota. However, the law was struck down by the federal courts, and it’s reasonable to assume King’s would be as well.
Constitutional issues aside, such an extreme law is unlikely to pass even in a Republican-controlled Congress. However, some have suggested that King is aware of this and is merely using the bill as a bargaining chip. You see, shortly after Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed Ohio’s heartbeat bill, he signed a 20-week ban.
‘Only spitballing here, but any 20-week ban introduced after this will look “moderate,” right? Saw this in Ohio’
Only spitballing here, but any 20-week ban introduced after this will look "moderate," right? Saw this in Ohiohttps://t.co/0s3JcjhVKQ
— Nicole Knight (@Nicolekshine) January 13, 2017
It should be noted that both the 20-week ban and the Heartbeat law are unconstitutional according to Roe v. Wade, which establishes a woman’s right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb. This is generally considered to be around the 24-week mark.
Featured image via Getty Images.