At our last count, nearly a dozen states have proposed heartbeat bills or passed heartbeat laws. HB laws have become so popular that it's tough to keep score. Failed, passed, blocked, stricken, challenged. Although not a single heartbeat law has been enforced to date, well-meaning pro-lifers love them. They await with breathless anticipation that awesome moment when the Supreme Court will finally hear a heartbeat bill test case and overrule itself. The inventor of the heartbeat bill, Janet Porter, developed this catchy slogan:
"If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected." Janet Porter, Faith to Action
But many thousands of Christians believe otherwise. Pro-lifers are stunned -- and sometimes even outraged -- that abolitionists not only refuse to celebrate heartbeat bills, but that we actively oppose them. When an abolitionist publicly confronted Florida legislators during a press conference about their proposed heartbeat bill, the President of Florida Right to Life threatened to have her forcibly removed, and a legislative aide later rebuked the abolitionist harshly for not "standing side by side" with heartbeat bill proponents.
If you, dear Christian, are currently supporting or celebrating a heartbeat bill, here are 9 things you need to know.
1. Abortion is murder. All abortion. Any abortion. Every abortion – for any reason -- is murder. To forbid an abortion AFTER the heart begins beating is to allow an abortion BEFORE the heart begins beating. Thus, the HB bill is saying that murder is okay if the heart is not yet beating or cannot yet be detected. If we truly believe ALL abortion is murder, we must ACT like ALL abortion is murder!
2. Heartbeat bills are NOT designed to abolish abortion. They are designed as a vehicle to challenge Roe v. Wade. The strategy is to get a heartbeat bill lawsuit before SCOTUS, to give the court an “opportunity” to reverse itself and overturn Roe. This strategy is born of the belief that Supreme Court rulings are actually “the law of the land.” They are not. They are court opinions, period. No court can make new law – not even the Supreme Court. They must interpret the Constitution. And when they allow murder, SCOTUS is the one violating the Constitution and making a mockery of God's law. If we treat Roe v Wade as a legitimate ruling, then we empower SCOTUS to continue to shoot down every regulatory law we pass. Under the US Constitution, the states have the power and authority to nullify unjust or unconstitutional rulings, as well as those outside the court's authority. Florida openly defies existing federal law and Supreme Court rulings by allowing marijuana use. Florida can therefore easily defy Roe – there isn’t even a federal “abortion” law on the books! We have been using the lives of innocent preborn children as a political football for almost 50 years now, trying the Roe v. Wade strategy in vain. How many more years will we keep allowing the butchery of babies while we play this evil game?
3. HB bills demand that the ABORTIONIST (or his/her paid employee) is the one who must look for the heartbeat. We’re trusting a murderer to be honest? Seriously? We’re demanding that a paid assassin search for the one thing that will prevent him or her from being paid?
4. A heartbeat bill is extremely unlikely to rule out abortion at 6 weeks as mainstream media insists. It may be true that with an internal (transvaginal) ultrasound, a skilled sonographer can find a heartbeat at 6 weeks or even earlier. However, HB bills almost never require – or even suggest -- a transvaginal ultrasound. Some even forbid it.
Most HB bills provide for external (transabdominal) ultrasounds only. Sarah Cleveland, a devout Christian abolitionist and an expert OB/Gyn sonographer with 20 years’ experience performing ultrasounds, actually testified against Ohio’s heartbeat bill, and consulted extensively with Ohio attorneys and legislators in a futile attempt to make them understand that their heartbeat bill would fail. Per Mrs. Cleveland, one “cannot see a 5-6 week baby externally. It's more like 7-8 weeks. And if the mother is overweight, it is harder to visualize through the fat to see a baby that small. Therefore, those heartbeats may not be externally detected until 8-9 weeks in those cases. And there are plenty of ways to fudge that too. Ultrasound is very operator dependent, after all.” Click here for a link to Mrs. Cleveland's testimony.
AbolishAbortionFlorida met with Florida senator Dennis Baxley (sponsor of Florida's failed HB bill, SB792) who said he was not worried about requiring transvaginal ultrasounds because abortionists already use them to pinpoint the baby’s age so they can charge more money. The obvious flaw with this line of reasoning is that an abortionist is going to use whatever method makes them the most profit, and discard a method that loses money. If they can make a higher profit by using the less accurate ultrasound in order to miss a heartbeat and make a killing, why on earth would they keep using a transvaginal ultrasound that loses them money?
5. Ultrasound is COMPLETELY “operator-dependent.” The wand or scope points only where the technician tells it to. The wand can be manipulated and pointed anywhere – the baby’s elbow, any other part of the baby’s or mother’s body – anyplace where a heartbeat is not seen. It is possible to do an ultrasound, intentionally miss a beating heart, and do an abortion while in total “compliance” with a HB law.
6. The vast majority of abortions are committed during the first trimester -- before the 12th week of pregnancy. In Florida, for example, 93% of all abortions in 2018 were first trimester. See the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA’s) chart for 2018, and their chart to date for 2019. And even Ohio Life's brochure on Ohio's proposed HB bill admits that "an abdominal ultrasound can detect a heartbeat between eight and 12 weeks." If heartbeats can be missed up to 8-12 weeks, then a heartbeat bill will fail the overwhelming majority of babies, who will still be fair game for the killing.
HB Bills are typically rife with exceptions. In fact, Florida's proposed heartbeat bill from the 2018 session had so many exceptions (rape, incest, sex trafficking, domestic violence, among others), that we countered Janet Porter's slogan with one of our own:
If there's a police report, you can abort. - Bonnie Cannone
7. There is no easy way to gather enough evidence to enforce a heartbeat law, other than eyewitness testimony. HB bills do not typically have a specific means of accountability to determine compliance with the law, nor a means of detecting violations of the law. Reporting requirements, if there are any at all, are usually very lax. The hired killer is not required to file any paperwork on finding or not finding a heartbeat. There is no method in place to oversee when a heartbeat is found. Who is going to turn in the abortionist? The mother who is seeking, paying for, and taking her baby in to be killed? The assistants whose livelihoods depend on getting paid to aid and abet the killing?
8. Even if a criminal charge were to be filed against the paid assassin and there was enough evidence for a conviction, the penalty is not equal to murder. The penalties are on a par with much lesser crimes. This is not justice. Again, if we believe abortion is murder, we must ACT like someone is being murdered.
9. There is no prosecution for the other parties involved in the abortion. There are no penalties for the people bringing the baby to be killed, the assistants, the accomplices, the baby’s mother and father, the parents of an underage pregnant girl, or the office workers. The only person who could potentially be charged in most HB bills is the abortionist. And even that is doubtful, as explained above. Failure to prosecute a criminal for a crime is not justice. Specifically, failure to prosecute a mother for murdering her preborn child tells the world that murder is okay as long as (a) the mother is the one murdering and (b) the baby is the one being murdered. Failure to prosecute also inspires mothers to perform DIY abortions precisely because there is no fear of being charged with a crime. To quote abolitionist missionary Patte Smith:
Non-prosecution + Non-enforcement = NonSense. Patte Smith
10. Yes, I know we said there were only 9 things you needed to know. But please go back and look at number 1. All abortion is the murder of an image-bearer of God. Every child murdered by abortion is your neighbor.
It should be readily apparent to any reader that heartbeat bills are not only gutless, they are truly heartless. They give the false impression that they are fighting abortion, when in fact, they compromise God’s Word and lead His tiniest image-bearers to the slaughter.
Repent of supporting a heartbeat bill or any other regulatory measure whose end result is even one dead baby. Sign up to become a “Defender of Life” at AbolishAbortionFlorida. Write your lawmaker to demand and accept nothing less than the complete and total abolition of ALL abortion – from conception, without exception!