On the heels of similar legislation passed successfully in Ohio, Kentucky lawmaker Rep. Robert Goforth prefiled a motion last week to make abortion illegal in Kentucky once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, and it will be considered at the next Kentucky general session beginning on January 8th.
“My proposal recognizes that everyone has a right to life,” Goforth told Glasgow Daily Times. “My personal belief is that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. A heartbeat proves that there’s life that deserves protection under law—if a heart is beating, a baby needs to be protected and given an opportunity to live.”
A baby’s heartbeat begins around 6 weeks gestation, but is typically able to be picked up by Doppler 8 to 10 weeks gestation. The proposed legislation would make it a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, for a medical provider to commit an abortion once a heartbeat had been detected, except in cases of medical emergency. (Go here to watch a video on why abortion is actually never medically necessary, and here to learn what abortion isn’t.)
Rep. Goforth’s bill is also personal in nature, as the lawmaker has triplets who were born at 29 weeks, weighing just two pounds each.
“Some states perform abortions when the gestation is even further along than my children were when they were born,” he said. “We’re talking about viable babies. They are children. We owe it to all children to stand up and fight for them. This is the most pro-life piece of the legislation that has ever been filed in the Kentucky Legislature.”
Heartbeat bills frequently face legal challenges, but Goforth said he believes the fight is worth it.
Kentucky is also awaiting judgment on a challenge to a law banning the “dilation and evacuation” abortion procedure, just one year after a federal judge struck down a decades-old law that required abortion facilities to have hospital admitting privileges in case of a botched abortion. The law was struck down after unsanitary conditions forced a Lexington abortion facility to close. Watch the video below on what is involved in a D&E abortion, which is committed on living human beings in the womb: