TO: My Representative and Senators
I strongly support Heartbeat Legislation that will ban abortion as soon as a baby's heartbeat can be heard.
This will outlaw the vast number of abortions and could lead to a U. S. Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, completely banning all abortions!
So I call on you to give your full support to Heartbeat Legislation!
On This Page
Goal: 50,000 signatures
Dear friend of PRI,
Q: What is heartbeat legislation?
A: Heartbeat legislation is a colloquial term for legislative bills which would protect the unborn from abortion after the unborn human has a detectable heartbeat. To date, all heartbeat legislation has been at introduced and fought at the state level.
Q: Would these bills put women in jail?
A: No, all heartbeat bills which have been proposed penalize the abortionist, not the woman. The proposed penalties vary depending on whether the doctor failed to check for a heartbeat, or found a heartbeat and still performed the abortion.
The proposed penalties also vary by state: some suggested the revocation of a medical license, while others gave fines for violations. Some heartbeat bills even included provisions so that a woman upon whom an abortion was performed could, in some circumstances, file a civil action suit for the wrongful death of her child.
Biology and Development
Fertilization: The moment at which the sperm and egg meet (aka: conception). This can occur between 5 minutes to 5 days after intercourse. All 46 chromosomes are present at this moment—23 from mum and 23 from dad. The child’s gender, eye color, hair color and many other things are already decided. All that is needed is time for the child to grow.
Zygote: A highly specialized totipotent cell which is formed when the male sperm unites with a female gamete and which marks the beginning of human development.
Embryo: The developing human during its early stages of development. The embryonic period extends to the end of the eighth week (56 days), by which time the beginnings of all major structures are present.
Fetus (Medical): Unborn offspring. After the embryonic period (8 weeks) and until birth, the developing human is called a fetus. During the fetal period (ninth week to birth), differentiation and growth of the tissues and organs formed during the embryonic period occur.
Fetus (Legislative): In the text of heartbeat legislation, the term "fetus" is commonly defined as "the human offspring developing during pregnancy from the moment of conception and includes the embryonic stage of development." [emphasis added.]
Atrium: A chamber of the heart that receives blood from the veins and forces it into a ventricle or ventricles.
Ventricle: A chamber of the heart which receives blood from a corresponding atrium and from which blood is forced into the arteries.
Vein: Any of the tubular branching vessels that carry blood toward the heart.
Artery: Any of the tubular branching muscular- and elastic-walled vessels that carry blood away from the heart and through the body.
Fetal Heartbeat: Cardiac activity, the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac.
*Medical definitions are taken from the 8th edition of The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryolgy, by Keith Moore and T.V.N. Persuad, and the online Merriam Medical Dictionary.
Heartbeat Legislation by State
A fetal heartbeat bill was passed in January 2013 by the Arkansas Senate.
The bill was vetoed in Arkansas by the Governor in March 2013.
The Arkansas House of Representatives overruled the veto in March 2013.
A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the Arkansas law in May 2013.
You can see the full text of the bill, SB 134, by clicking here.
The bill, Prohibiting an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable fetal heartbeat, was introduced and referred to committee in February 2013.
The bill was presented to the Kansas house in March 2013.
The Kansas congress is adjourned until January 2014.
You can see the full text of the bill, HB 2324, by clicking here.
The Kentucky heartbeat bill, HB 132, was introduced to the Kentucky House in January 2011.
The bill was posted in the House committee and has remained there ever since.
You can download full text of HB 132 in the form of a Microsoft Word document here.
The Mississippi bill, HB 6, was introduced in January 2013.
The bill died in committee in February 2013.
You can read the full text of the bill, HB 6, by clicking here.
The North Dakota bill, HB 1456, was introduced in January 2013.
The bill passed the North Dakota House in February 2013.
The bill passed the North Dakota Senate in March 2013.
The bill was signed into law on March 26, 2013.
Before it could go into effect, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the law.
You can read the full text of the bill, HB 1456, by clicking here.
In Ohio, a fetal heartbeat law, HB 125, was introduced in the state legislature in October 2011.
The bill was dropped and never voted on.
A similar bill was introduced in August 2013.
You can see the full text of the most recent bill, HB 248, by clicking here.
The Texan fetal heartbeat bill, HB 59, was introduced on July 18, 2013.
The bill is currently awaiting markup in the House committee.
You can read the full text of the bill, HB 59, by clicking here.
A fetal heartbeat bill, HB 97, was introduced in Wyoming in January 2013.
The bill was struck down by a house committee in February 2013.
You can read the full text of the bill, HB 97, by clicking here.