Kansas attempts to become the third state in 2013 to pass a heartbeat bill


Getting closer to a scientific standard.

heart-babyOn the heels of Arkansas and North Dakota comes Kansas. The Kansas House is attempting to pass its own version of a heartbeat bill – a law that typically bans all abortions (except for situations where the mother’s life is at risk) once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Arkansas’s version drew the line at twelve weeks, though Senate sponsor Jason Rapert originally tried to draw it at the more accurate six weeks. North Dakota’s line is six weeks, and this is where Kansas may draw it as well. LifeSiteNews reports that Kansas’s version of the law would take a very tailored approach:

David F. Forte, a highly esteemed Professor of Law at Cleveland State University who carefully crafted the legislation to withstand a Constitutional challenge, addressed the House Federal and State Affairs committee on Tuesday.

He explained that once a fetal heartbeat is detected, 97% of those babies will survive to term. Fetal heartbeat is a better indicator of survivability than the difficult to determine standard of viability since the heartbeat happens at a set time in pregnancy at around 5-6 weeks gestation.

Scientifically, an unborn child’s heart begins to beat at 21 or 22 days after fertilization (which is equivalent to five weeks’ gestational age). Ultrasounds can detect the heartbeat very soon after it begins – hence the result of most heartbeat bills having a six-week standard.

Many people do not realize how early a unborn child’s heart beats. And therefore, many women are persuaded to choose early abortions when abortion clinics inform them that the baby is simply a “product of conception,” “tissue,” “a blob,” or just “potential life.” Nothing could be farther from the truth, and women deserve to be fully educated on and exposed to the humanity of their unborn children.

Kari Jucksch Martin, an ultrasound technician, shares her experiences:

I do ultrasounds for a Pregnancy Center and love my job. I see the look on the faces of young ladies when they think they want an abortion and then see that the little life inside them is moving and the tiny heart is beating, and then the tears fall….. priceless!

Heartbeat bills come full circle. Not only do they assert that a heartbeat demonstrates humanity, but they recognize that humanity in law and forbid the killing of living human beings. As many have asked, if we use the lack of a heartbeat to prove death, why does the presence of a heartbeat not unequivocally prove life?

For decades, science has recognized the moment of fertilization as the moment that a new, unique human life comes into being. This is the standard that our laws ought to aim for, but in the meantime, heartbeat bills are going a long way to getting us closer to protecting all human life.

For more information, you can read the proposed bill, Kansas HB 2324, here.

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