States around the country have been enacting heartbeat bans, which outlaw abortion after a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected. The latest example is in Tennessee, where last week Governor Bill Lee announced a new bill that is part of a comprehensive pro-life legislation package.
Surrounded by other pro-life lawmakers, Lee announced that he will be submitting a bill that would not only ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected, but also require ultrasounds before an abortion is committed, and ban eugenic abortions where the procedure is “motivated by sex, race or disability diagnosis of the unborn child.”
In a statement to Fox 17, Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton expressed support for the bill. “The General Assembly has been committed to making Tennessee a very strong pro-life state over the last decade,” he said. “Obviously, we are very supportive and appreciative of the Governor’s dedication to pro-life principles. We are looking forward to working with him and his team on this issue, as well as his legislative vision. I know members of the House and the chairmen are eager to review the proposed language and continue their strong support for life.”
“I believe that every human life is precious, and we have a responsibility to protect it,” Lee said in a press release. “Today, Tennessee is taking a monumental step in celebrating, cherishing, and defending life at every stage. I’m grateful to be joined by so many leaders in our state who are boldly standing up for our most vulnerable.”
Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini, meanwhile, was outspoken in her disapproval. “No politician should be in the middle of the decision to end a pregnancy, choose adoption, or raise a child,” she told Fox 17. “This is always a heart wrenching decision and must be left to a woman, her family and her faith, in consultation with her doctor or health care provider. If Republicans were acting in the best interests of women and families they would put forth real solutions. They would work with Democrats to legitimately reduce the number of unintended pregnancies through policy that will actually work: Age-appropriate reproductive health education (including teaching abstinence) and access to affordable contraceptives and affordable reproductive health for all.”
Abortion activists frequently attack this kind of pro-life legislation, yet it has a legitimate basis in science, as well as the support of the majority of Americans. A preborn child’s heart begins beating at just three weeks gestation, with blood flowing through his blood vessels. This isn’t a meaningless “fetal heart tone” or a random muscle spasm, as video from the Endowment for Human Development shows. It’s the real heartbeat of a living human being.
Meanwhile, polling consistently shows that Americans support restrictions on abortion, including two recent polls. People overwhelmingly support informed consent laws, such as those requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, as well as waiting period laws and other restrictions. They also support banning abortions committed due to things like Down syndrome or other disabilities.
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