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Ban Abortion from the Very First Heartbeat

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What is Heartbeat Legislation?

Heartbeat laws ban abortion from the moment in pregnancy that a heartbeat can be detected. Heartbeat laws are among the strongest pro-life laws ever adopted on the state level since the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision prohibited states from banning abortion prior to viability. Additionally, these laws may prove to be key in leading the Supreme Court to reconsider and possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.

An embryonic heartbeat can be detected very early in pregnancy, typically by 6-10 weeks gestation using the best methods of standard medical practice and typically by 7-12 weeks via transabdominal ultrasound.1 However, some studies claim to have been able to detect embryonic heartbeats via ultrasound even earlier than 6 weeks.2

Studies have shown that less than 5% of normal, natural pregnancies result in spontaneous miscarriage after a heartbeat is detected.3,4,5 This has been shown to hold true even among women with clinically diagnosed threatened miscarriages.6,7 The presence of a fetal heartbeat is a very strong indicator that a child will survive to birth.

Heartbeat laws could provide the basis needed for a case to go to the Supreme Court challenging the Court’s abortion precedent in Roe and Planned Parenthood of S.E. Pennsylvania v. Casey. Heartbeat laws strike at the very heart of Roe’s “central holding” which maintains that states are prohibited from banning abortion prior to viability. Heartbeat laws directly challenge the Supreme Court’s viability and undue burden standards as outlined in Roe and Casey. A case challenging the constitutionality of heartbeat laws would give the Supreme Court a potent opportunity to revise its past decisions on abortion.

Heartbeat legislation has been introduced or passed into law in 25 states so far. Heartbeat bills have also been introduced on the federal level as well. The Heartbeat Protection Act (H.R. 490) was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2017 and again in 2019.

The first ever heartbeat bill was introduced in the Ohio state House of Representatives in 2011 as HB 125, sponsored by former Rep. Lynn Wachtmann.

On March 6, 2013, Arkansas became the first state to pass a heartbeat bill into law when the state House and Senate voted to override the veto of then-Governor Mike Beebe, allowing the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act to become law. A few weeks later on March 26, 2013, a similar heartbeat bill was signed into law in North Dakota as well by then-Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Both heartbeat laws, however, were ultimately struck down in federal court, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals noting that Supreme Court precedent “does not permit [lower courts] to reach a contrary result.”

Heartbeat bills were nearly adopted in Ohio in 2016 and again in 2018. Heartbeat bills passed both the Ohio House and Senate in 2016 and 2018, however, both bills were ultimately vetoed by then-Ohio Governor John Kasich. Attempts to override Gov. Kasich’s veto failed with the Senate coming only one vote short of an override in 2018.

On May 4, 2018, Iowa became the third state to adopt heartbeat legislation when Governor Kim Reynolds signed a heartbeat bill into law. A county judge in Iowa has since blocked the law from going into effect.

This year, heartbeat bills have advanced in legislatures in a number of states with the intent that passing heartbeat laws could provide the basis for case before the Supreme Court challenging, and ultimately overturning, Roe v. Wade. In 2019, heartbeat bills have been signed into law in Kentucky and Mississippi with another heartbeat bill expected to be adopted soon in Georgia. Heartbeat bills have also been introduced in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota Missouri, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Below we provide a history of heartbeat legislation in every state where bills or resolutions has been introduced.

Jump to: Heartbeat Legislation by State

Early Development of the Human Heart

  • The cardiovascular system is the first major organ system to function in a human embryo.
  • During the third week of development, heart-forming (cardiogenic) precursor cells come together to form a layer of cells in the middle of the embryo called the intraembryonic mesoderm. This layer of cells will later develop into the circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and reproductive systems.
  • Heart-forming (cardiogenic) precursor cells from the mesoderm layer move to the embryo’s heart-forming area (cardiogenic area). By the end of the third week, the heart primordium begins to develop in the embryo’s cardiogenic area.
  • At about 19 days of development, the mesoderm splits into two parts: the somatic mesoderm and the splanchnic mesoderm.
  • Angioblastic (vessel-forming) cells in the splanchnic mesoderm then come together to form a heart precursor, called a “heart tube.”
  • After a heart tube is formed, cells begin to differentiate into specialized cells that form a myocardial sleeve in the heart tube. The formation of the myocardial sleeve allows the heart to begin beating for the first time. The heart begins to beat about 21-22 days after fertilization.
  • During the third week of development, blood vessels also begin to form:
    • multipotent mesenchymal cells begin to differentiate into vessel-forming cells (angioblasts) and endothelial cells (cells that form the inside lining of blood vessels). Angioblasts come together to form ‘blood islands’ and begin to differentiate into endothelial cells. These endothelial cells begin forming blood vessels in the blood islands, connecting with blood vessels in nearby blood islands
  • During the fourth week of development, the heart tube begins to fold (or “loop”)
  • Between the middle of the fourth week and end of the fifth week, the heart begins to partition into atria and ventricles, a process which becomes complete by the eighth week of development.

 

Sources:
Moore KL, Persaud TVN, Torchia MG. Third week of human development. In: The developing human: clinically oriented embryology. 10th ed. International ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016.
Hill MA. Cardiac embryology. In: UNSW embryology. 2019 [cited 2019 Apr 4]. Available from: https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Cardiac_Embryology.
Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy week by week. Mayo Foundation for Education and Research (MFMER); 2019 [cited 2019 Apr 4]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/basics/healthy-pregnancy/hlv-20049471.

Heartbeat Legislation by State

 

Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
New York
Kentucky
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia
Wyoming

Alabama

Heartbeat bills have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature almost every year since 2014. To date, no heartbeat bill has yet passed either the Alabama House of Representatives or the Senate. The following is a list of heartbeat bills that have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature:

HB 490 (Full text)

  • First reading in House February 13, 2014
  • Referred same day to House Committee on Health
  • Passed House vote 73-29, March 4, 2014
  • First reading in Senate March 18, 2014
  • Died in the Senate

HB 405 (Full text)

  • First reading in House April 2, 2015
  • Referred same day to House Committee on Health
  • Died in the House

SB 9 (Full text)

  • First reading in Senate February 2, 2016
  • Referred same day to Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
  • Died in the Senate

HB 21 (Full text)

  • First reading in House February 2, 2016
  • Referred same day to House Committee on Health
  • Died in the House

HB 154 (Full text)

  • First reading in House February 9, 2017
  • Referred same day to House Committee on Health
  • Died in the House

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Arkansas

Arkansas was the first state in the U.S. to pass into law a bill banning abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected. On March 6, 2013, SB 134, the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act (Act 301), became law after both the Arkansas House and Senate voted to override the veto of then-Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.

Act 301 was quickly challenged in federal court. A federal judge ultimately struck down the portion of the bill prohibiting abortions when fetal heartbeat was detected while another portion of the Act, requiring testing for a heartbeat and informing the mother when a heartbeat was detected, was left intact.

Then-Arkansas Attorney General (now Arkansas Governor) Leslie Rutledge filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court, who declined to hear the case, effectively ensuring that the lower court’s decision would remain permanent.

A brief synopsis of the history of Act 301 (SB 134) is provided below:

  • Introduced in Senate January 28, 2013 and referred to the Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor
  • On January 30, 2013, SB 134 was amended on a second reading and passed by the Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor
  • SB 134 passed the Senate and delivered to House on January 31, 2013
  • On February 13, the House amended SB 134 and referred to the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor
  • On February 21, the House passed SB 134 and returned the bill as amended to the Senate for reconsideration
  • On February 25, SB 134 was re-referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor
  • On February 27, the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor approved of the House bill as amended
  • On February 28, 2013, the Senate passed SB 134 as amended by the House, sending the bill to the desk of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe for signature
  • On March 4, 2013, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe vetoed the bill
  • The Arkansas Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto of SB 134 on March 5, 2013
  • On March 6, 2013, the House also voted to override the Governor’s veto of SB 134. SB 134 was transmitted to the Secretary of State and became law as Act 301.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas struck down fetal heartbeat abortion ban on March 14, 2013
  • The District Court held a hearing on May 17, 2013, following parties’ responses to ruling
  • On May 23rd, the District Court affirmed its ruling, leading the state to appeal its case to the United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit
  • On May 27, 2013, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit permanently struck down Act as unconstitutional

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Florida

Florida’s first heartbeat bill (HB 235) was filed in the House of Representatives on January 10, 2019 by State Rep. Walter Bryan Hill (1st Dist.). An identical bill (SB 792) was also filed in the Florida Senate on February 6, 2019. Both bills died in committee.

  • HB 235 filed in the House of Representatives on January 10, 2019.
  • On January 23, HB 235 is referred to the House Judiciary Committee, the Health & Human Services Committee, and the Health Quality Subcommittee.
  • SB 792 introduced in the Senate on February 6, 2019.
  • On February 15, SB 792 referred to the Senate Health Policy, Judiciary, and Rules committees.
  • On May 3, 2019, SB 792 dies in Senate Health Policy Committee; on the same day, HB 235 dies in House Health Quality Subcommittee.

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Georgia

Georgia’s first heartbeat bill (HB 481) was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 25, 2019, titled the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act. A companion bill, SB 218, was also introduced in the state Senate two days later on February 27th.

On March 7, 2019, HB 481 was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee and the full House of Representatives passed the bill later that day on a vote of 93-73. The House passed HB 481 just in time to meet a procedural deadline in Georgia where bills must generally pass at least on chamber. HB 481 was subsequently sent to the Senate and referred to the Senate Science and Technology Committee. On March 22nd, the Senate passed HB 481 with a number of text changes on a vote of 34-18. The House approved the Senate’s version of the bill 92-78 on March 29, sending the LIFE Act to the desk of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. During his gubernatorial campaign, Kemp vowed to support heartbeat legislation banning abortion after 6 weeks gestation. He signed HB 481 on May 7, 2019. The bill is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020.

  • On February 25, 2019, Georgia’s first heartbeat bill (HB 481) is introduced in the House and referred to the Committee on Health & Human Services.
  • On March 7, 2019, the House passes HB 481 on a vote of 93-73.
  • HB 481 is referred to Senate Science and Technology Committee on March 8th.
  • On March 22, the Senate passes a substituted version of HB 481, sending the bill back to the House to concur in the substituted bill
  • On March 29, the House approves the Senate version of the HB 481 on a vote of 92-78, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. Brian Kemp.
  • On May 7, 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp signs HB 481 into law.

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Illinois

Illinois’ first heartbeat bill (HB 2462) was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 13, 2019 by Rep. Chris Miller (110th District). HB 2462 takes a unique approach from other heartbeat bills in that it bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected by simply redefining “viability” to include a fetus with a detectable heartbeat. The bill text stipulated that abortion would be prohibited “when, in the medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the attending physician, the unborn child has a fetal heartbeat.”

HB 2462 has been assigned to the House Human Services Committee for consideration.

  • HB 2462 is introduced in the House of Representatives on February 13, 2019.
  • On February 26, HB 2462 was assigned to the House Human Services Committee.

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Indiana

At the start of the 2016 Session, as PRI then reported, a heartbeat bill, authored by Indiana State Senators Jim Banks and Scott Schneider, was introduced in the state Senate. A companion bill, authored by representative Curt Nisly, was introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives.

  • SB 144 (Full text) introduced January 5, 2016. Referred same day to Committee on Health & Provider Services; died in Committee.
  • HB 1122 (Full text) introduced January 7, 2016. Referred same day to Committee on Public Policy; died in Committee.

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Iowa

On May 4, 2018, Iowa became the 3rd state to pass heartbeat legislation into law. Iowa’s heartbeat law (SF 359) amends the Iowa Code to ban abortions from the moment a heartbeat can be detected via abdominal ultrasound, except in cases of “a medical emergency or when the abortion is medically necessary.” SF 359 was passed by the Iowa House of Representatives on May 1, 2018 (vote tally: 51-46) and passed by the Iowa Senate on May 2nd (vote tally: 29-17). Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 359 into law on May 4, 2018.

Iowa’s heartbeat law is currently not in effect due to ongoing lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Emma Goldman Clinic. The plaintiffs are being represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, respectively. Planned Parenthood is challenging Iowa’s heartbeat law as unconstitutional under the Iowa Constitution, a maneuver which could prevent the case from being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, as the U.S. Supreme Court is not able to review decisions dealing with constitutional questions concerning state constitutions. The State of Iowa is currently being represented by the Thomas More Society after Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller refused to defend Iowa’s heartbeat law in court.

On June 1, 2018, Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert placed a temporary injunction on Iowa’s heartbeat law, pending a final ruling by the court to be decided on the merits of the case. The Iowa heartbeat law was slated to go into effect on July 1, 2018.

Here is a brief legislative history of SF 359 (Full text):

  • Introduced as SF 52 by Brad Zaun January 11, 2017; referred to Human Resources.
  • Subcommittee (Chapman, Quirmbach, and Segebart) formed January 13th; recommended passage February 7th.
  • Introduced as SF 359 on February 27, 2017 and approved by the Senate Human Resources Committee
  • Passed Senate 43-6 on March 22, 2017; received by House.
  • On March 23, 2017, bill referred to House Human Resources Committee.
  • A subcommittee (Lundgren, Salmon, and Wessel-Kroeschell) formed on March 14, 2018, which recommends that the bill be amended and passed.
  • Seven amendments filed through April 30, 2018. Of these, only H-8269 adopted, eliminating exceptions to heartbeat law for abortions and procedures to save the life of the mother. Adopted May 1, 2018.
  • SF 359 passed House (51-46) on May 1, 2018.
  • SF 359 passed Senate (29-17) on May 2, 2018.
  • On May 4, 2018, SF 359 signed by Governor Kim Reynolds.
  • Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert placed a temporary injunction on the bill on June 1, 2018.

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Kansas

A Kansas heartbeat bill, HB 2324 (Full text), was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs on February 13, 2013. The bill died in the Committee.

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Kentucky

On March 15, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a heartbeat bill (SB 9) into law banning abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected. However, Judge David Hale, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky, immediately placed a 14-day hold on the law, preventing the heartbeat law from going into effect, pending a hearing. Kentucky is the fourth state to pass heartbeat legislation into law.

SB 9 had been introduced in the Kentucky Senate on January 8, 2019. A companion heartbeat bill (HB 100) was also introduced in the House as well. On February 14th, the Senate passed SB 9 on a vote of 31-6. The House of Representatives also passed SB 9 on March 14th on a vote of 71-19.

Prior to SB 9, several heartbeat bills had been introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly since 2013. In 2013 and 2014, the House of Representatives twice introduced heartbeat bill HB 132. Both bills ended up dying in committee.

On December 13, 2018, State Rep. Robert Goforth (89th Dist.) prefiled a heartbeat bill (BR 823) in the House for the 2019 legislative session but the General Assembly opted to use a Senate version instead.

  • 2013 bill (Full text, Microsoft Word document download) introduced January 11, 2013.
  • Bill referred to House Committee on Health & Welfare February 5, 2013; died in Committee.
  • HB 132 (Full text, Microsoft Word document download) is introduced on January 7, 2014.
  • HB 132 was referred to House Committee on Health & Welfare January 8, 2014; died in Committee.
  • On December 13, 2018, a heartbeat bill was prefiled in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
  • On January 8, 2019, SB 9 is introduced in the Senate referred to the Senate Committee for Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection.
  • On February 14, 2019, the Senate passed SB 9 (31-6). The bill was referred to House Committee for Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection on February 19th.
  • On March 14, 2019, the House passes SB 9 (71-19).
  • On March 15, 2019, Gov. Matt Bevin signs SB 9 into law. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky places a temporary hold on the law, preventing the law from going into effect.

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Louisiana

On May 30, 2019, Louisiana became the 8th state to pass a heartbeat law.

Louisiana’s heartbeat bill (SB 184) was introduced by state Sen. John Milkovich (D – 38th District). SB 184 prefiled in the Senate on March 27, 2019 and officially introduced on April 8, 2019. SB 184 passed both houses of the Louisiana state legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. On May 6, 2019, the Senate passed SB 184 on a margin of 31-5. The House also passed the bill on a vote of 79-23 on May 29th. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a staunchly pro-life Democrat who campaigned as pro-life candidate, openly supported the bill. Gov. Edwards signed SB 184 into law on May 30, 2019.

Although not as strong as heartbeat laws passed in other states, the Louisiana law garnered wide bipartisan support and is still one of the strongest pro-life laws in the country. The law bans all abortion once a heartbeat can be detected except in cases necessary to save the mother’s life, in cases to “prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,” or in cases where the unborn child has a disability “incompatible with sustain life after birth.” The law would not go into effect unless the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Mississippi’s heartbeat law.

  • On April 8, 2019, heartbeat bill SB 184 is introduced in the Louisiana Senate and referred to the Committee on Judiciary C.
  • On May 6, 2019, SB 184 is passed by the Senate, with amendments, by a margin of 31-5.
  • On May 7, 2019, SB 184 is introduced in the House and referred on the following day to the Committee on Health and Welfare.
  • On May 15, 2019, the Committee on Health and Welfare reports favorably on the bill (12-0); SB 184 is referred to the Legislative Bureau.
  • On May 29, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed SB 184 on a vote of 79-23.
  • On May 30, Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signs SB 184 into law. The law will only take effect if the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Mississippi’s heartbeat law.

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Maryland

Heartbeat legislation was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly for the first time in 2019.

On February 8, 2019, three separate heartbeat bills were introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates: HB 933, sponsored by Del. Ric Metzgar (District 6), HB 978, sponsored by Del. Robin Grammar (District 6), and HB 1195, sponsored by Daniel Cox (District 4). All three bills were referred to the House Health and Government Operations Committee and a hearing was scheduled for March 8th. On February, 25th, HB 978 was withdraw by the bill’s sponsor. On February 25, a companion bill to HB 978 was introduced in the Senate as SB 1008 by Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (District 6).

  • Heartbeat bills HB 933, HB 978, and HB 1195 are introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates on February 8, 2019.
  • February 25, 2019, HB 978 is withdrawn by the bill’s sponsor
  • February 25, 2019, SB 1008 is introduced in the Maryland Senate as a companion bil to HB 978.

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Michigan

In Michigan, heartbeat bill HB 4664 (full text) was introduced in the House of Representatives on May 23, 2019. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson (District 72). The bill was referred to House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors.

In 2014, heartbeat bill HB 5644 (full text) had been introduced in House by former Rep. Tom Hooker. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health Policy but was never brought up for a vote.

  • June 10, 2014, heartbeat bill HB 5644 introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Health Policy.
  • May 23, 2019, heartbeat bill HB 4664 introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors.

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Minnesota

During the 2019 legislative session, several heartbeat bills have been introduced in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.

In the House of Representatives, heartbeat bill HF 271 was introduced on January 22, 2019 by Rep. Tim Miller (District 17A). On February 7, 2019, a companion heartbeat bill SF 869 was introduced in the Senate, principally authored by Sen. Andrew Mathews (15th District).

On March 7, 2019, a separate heartbeat bill, HF 2101, was introduced in the House by Rep. Tana Theis. On March 11, a companion bill to HF 2101 was introduced in the Senate as SF 2245 by Sen. Jeff Howe.

All four bills introduced in the Minnesota Legislature during the 2019 legislative session were referred to the respective Health and Human Services Policy committees in each chamber.

Two heartbeat bills, HF 4524 and SF 4109, were also introduced in the 2018 legislative session. Both bills were introduced after Committee deadlines and could not be considered in the 2017-2018 legislative session.

  • HF 4524 (Full text) introduced May 17, 2018, and referred same day to House Committee on Health and Human Services Reform.
  • SF 4109 (Full text) introduced May 19, 2018, and referred same day to Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Finance and Policy.
  • On January 22, 2019, HF 271 introduced in the House and referred to Health and Human Services Policy Committee.
  • On February 7, 2019, SF 869 introduced in the Senate and referred to Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

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Mississippi

On March 21, 2019, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed heartbeat bill SB 2116 into law, banning all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected in the State of Mississippi. Mississippi is the fifth state to pass heartbeat legislation into law.

SB 2116 was passed by the Senate on February 13th on a vote of 34-14. The bill later passed the House of Representatives as well with amendments on March 11th on a vote of 78-37. The Senate approved the amended version of the bill from the House on March 19th and sent the bill to the Governor for his signature the following day. The law was later challenged in court and blocked by a U.S. District Judge on May 24th.

Three other heartbeat bills had also been introduced in the Mississippi Legislature in 2019. In the House, heartbeat bills HB 732 and HB 529 were also introduced as well as a second Senate bill (SB 2688). On February 13, 2019, the House passed HB 732, but the bill was later tabled in the Senate in favor of SB 2116. HB 529 and SB 2688 were also tabled in favor of SB 2116.

Before SB 2116, numerous heartbeat bills had been introduced in the Mississippi Legislature since 2013.

  • HB 6 (Full text) referred to House Judiciary Committee B on January 8, 2013; the bill died in Committee.
  • SB 2807 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on January 20, 2014; died in Committee.
  • HB 1198 (Full text) referred to House Public Health and Human Services Committee and House Judiciary Committee B on January 16, 2017; died in Committee.
  • HB 226 (Full text) referred to House Judiciary Committee B on January 2, 2018; died in Committee.
  • SB 2058 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee A on January 3, 2018; died in Committee.
  • SB 2143 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee A on January 9, 2018; died in Committee.
  • HB 1509 (Full text) referred to House Judiciary Committee B on January 15, 2018; died in Committee.
  • HB 1481 (Full text) referred to House Medicaid Committee on January 15, 2018; died in Committee.
  • SB 2562 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee B on January 16, 2018; died in Committee.
  • SB 2584 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee A on January 16, 2018; died in Committee.
  • HB 732 (Full text) referred to House Public Health and Human Services Committee on January 17, 2019; passed by House on February 13, 2019. Referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on February 27, 2019; HB 732 tabled in favor of the Senate’s version of the heartbeat bill SB 2116.
  • SB 2116 (Full text) referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on January 11, 2019;
  • On February 13, 2019, SB 2116 passes the Senate on a vote of 34-14.
  • On February 20, 2019, SB 2116 is referred to the House Public Health and Human Services Committee.
  • On March 11, the House of Representatives passes SB 2116 with amendments on a vote of 78-37. The bill is returned to the Senate for concurrence.
  • On March 19, the Senate concurs in the amended version of the bill passed by the House on a vote of 34-15.
  • On March 21, 2019, Gov. Phil Bryant signed heartbeat bill SB 2116 into law.
  • On March 28, 2019, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of SB 2116.
  • On May 24, 2019, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves decided the CRR case and issued a preliminary injunction preventing SB 2116 from going into effect.

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Missouri

A number of heartbeat bills have been introduced in the Missouri General Assembly since 2017.

On December 1, 2018, heartbeat bill SB 139 was prefiled in the Senate with Sen. Andrew Koenig (15th District) as the bill’s sponsor. On March 13th, SB 139 was incorporated into SB 279 and merged with two other pro-life bills: SB 279 (banning abortion after 22 weeks) and SB 345 (guaranteeing the right to life for the unborn). SB 279 was passed by the Senate Health and Pensions Committee on March 13, 2019.

During the 2019 legislative session, three separate heartbeat bills were introduced in the House of Representatives: HB 126, introduced by Rep. Nick Schroer (107th District), HB 870, introduced by Rep. David Gregory (96th District), and HB 964, by Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (97th District). HB 126 was passed by the Committee on Children and Families on February 19th, the Committee on Rules on February 21st, and the Committee on Fiscal Review on February 27th. The full House voted to pass HB 126 on February 27th. Missouri Governor Mike Parson indicated his support for bipartisan efforts in the House to pass pro-life legislation in the 2019 legislative session.

However, when HB 126 was taken up in the Senate, the Senate removed the heartbeat legislative provisions from the bill, replacing it instead with a complete ban abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy. As a result, HB 126 ceased being a “heartbeat bill.” The Senate passed the substituted version of HB 126 on May 15, 2019. The House concurred in the Senate amendments, passing the substituted version of HB 126 without heartbeat language. Gov. Parson signed the HB 126 into law on May 24, 2019.

  • SB 408 (Full text) first read February 9, 2017.
  • SB 408 referred to Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee February 13, 2017; died in Committee.
  • SB 714 (Full text), a bill identical to SB 408, was pre-filed December 1, 2017, and first read January 3, 2018.
  • SB 714 was referred to the Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee on January 16, 2018; died in Committee.
  • On January 9, 2019, the Senate introduced SB 139 and referred it to the Senate Health and Pensions Committee on January 24th.
  • On January 9, 2019, HB 126 was introduced in the House; referred to the House Children and Families Committee on January 30th.
  • On February 19, 2019, HB 126 passed the House Children and Families Committee with a 9-4 vote.
  • On February 27, 2019, the House of Representatives passed HB 126 by a margin of 117-39.
  • On March 13, SB 139 was incorporated into SB 279 and merged with two other pro-life bills: SB 279 and SB 345. SB 279 died in committee.
  • On May 15, 2019, the Senate passed HB 126 by a margin of 24-10 after removing the bill’s heartbeat provisions. HB 126 would ban abortion after 8 weeks, but could no longer be classified as a “heartbeat bill.”
  • On May 17, 2019, the House passed HB 126 with Senate amendments by a margin of 108-46.
  • On May 24, 2019, Governor Mike Parson signed HB 126 into law. The law is due to go into effect on August 28, 2019.

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New York

Since 2014, pro-life lawmakers in the New York State Assembly have introduced several heartbeat bills. During the 2019 legislative session, a heartbeat bill (A 5389) was introduced in the State Assembly, sponsored by Assemblymember David DiPietro (District 147). The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee on February 11, 2019.

  • A 8947 (full text) introduced March 4, 2014, and referred same day to Committee on Health; died in Committee.
  • A 3725 (full text) introduced January 27, 2015, and referred same day to Committee on Health. Referred again January 6, 2016; died in Committee.
  • A 5384 (full text) introduced February 8, 2017, and referred same day to Committee on Health. Referred again January 3, 2018; died in Committee.
  • A 5389 (full text) was introduced to the Assembly on February 11, 2019 and referred to the Health Committee.

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North Dakota

The North Dakota bill, HB 1456 (Full text), was introduced in January 2013. The bill passed the North Dakota House in February 2013. The bill passed the North Dakota Senate the following month in March. North Dakota’s heartbeat bill was signed into law by then-Governor Jack Dalrymple on March 26, 2013.

Before the law could go into effect, Red River Women’s Clinic, represented by MKB Management Corp., sued to overturn the law in MKB Management Corp. v. Stenehjem. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem argued the case in favor of the state’s heartbeat law. Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota Daniel L. Hovland placed a temporary injunction blocking North Dakota’s heartbeat law from going into effect. On April 16, 2014, Chief Judge Hovland found North Dakota’s heartbeat law to be unconstitutional.

The State of North Dakota appealed the decision to U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals which on July 22, 2015 affirmed the District Court’s ruling. In its decision, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, defended the North Dakota heartbeat law, arguing that the moment a heartbeat can be detected is the point in pregnancy that the state legislature has asserted that it has an interest in protecting “potential life” (language borrowed from Roe v. Wade). The Eighth Circuit Court argued, citing Edwards v. Beck, 786 F.3d 1113, 1119 (8th Cir. 2015), that “[t]o substitute its own preference to that of the legislature in this area is not the proper role of a court.” Nevertheless, the Eighth Circuit Court struck down North Dakota’s heartbeat law anyway “[b]ecause United States Supreme Court precedent does not permit us to reach a contrary result.”

On November 10, 2015, Attorney General Stenehjem filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States to review the decision from Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney General Stenehjem and his staff agreed to argue the case before the Supreme Court pro bono, and any further work on the case will not cost taxpayers anything. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, refused to review the case on January 25, 2016, leaving the Eighth Circuit Court’s ruling in place.

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Ohio

Ohio became the sixth state to adopt a heartbeat law on April 11, 2019 when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act (SB 23), banning abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected. The law is set to take effect 90 days from the date the bill was signed unless blocked by a judge.

SB 23 was first introduced on February 12, 2019 in the Ohio Senate. A heartbeat bill (HB 68) was also introduced in the House the same day but state lawmakers opted to use the Senate version instead. On March 13, 2019, the Senate passed SB 23 on a vote of 19-13. SB 23 was introduced in the Ohio House the following day and referred to the Health Committee on March 19.

On April 10, 2019, the House passed an amended version of SB 23 on a vote of 56-40. On the same day, the Senate concurred with the House amendments by a vote of 18-13. Ohio Governor Mark DeWine signed the bill the very next day.

On May 15, 2019, Ohio’s ACLU filed a lawsuit against SB 23 on behalf of abortion providers, arguing that the law is manifestly unconstitutional. Judge Michael Barrett, who blocked a dilation and evacuation ban in 2018, has been assigned to adjudicate the case.

Heartbeat legislation has a long history in Ohio. For eight years, pro-life lawmakers sought to adopt a heartbeat bill and grew closer to achieving their goal with each successive legislative term.

Heartbeat legislation first originated in Ohio. On February 24, 2011, the Ohio House of Representatives became the first legislative body in the country to introduce a bill banning abortion from the moment an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected. This first ever heartbeat bill (HB 125) later passed the House that same year on June 28 on a vote of 54-44, demonstrating that heartbeat bills can pass in state legislative bodies. HB 125, however, was not taken up by the Senate and the bill died in the Senate Rules & Reference Committee.

HB 125, however, provided a template that was later used for bills introduced in other states. This type of legislation has become known as “heartbeat” legislation.

Since HB 125, several heartbeat bills were introduced in the Ohio General Assembly with increasing success in each successive legislative term.

During the 130th General Assembly, heartbeat bills were introduced in both the House (HB 248) and the Senate (SB 297). HB 248 passed the Ohio House Committee on Health and Ageing on November 20, 2014 but failed to pass a vote by the full House.

During the 131st General Assembly, the House introduced multiple heartbeat bills (HB 69, HB 493). On March 25, 2015, the House passed HB 69 but the Senate failed to adopt the measure. Heartbeat language was added by the Senate as an amendment to a bill reforming the state’s child abuse and neglect reporting laws (HB 493) on December 6, 2016. On the same day, the House approved of the Senate’s amendment to include the heartbeat bill as part of HB 493, making HB 493 the first heartbeat bill to pass both chambers of the Ohio state legislature. As PRI reported in 2016, HB 493 was subsequently sent to the desk of Ohio Governor John Kasich for signature. In a controversial move, Governor Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill, arguing that heartbeat laws in both Arkansas and North Dakota had already been declared unconstitutional by federal courts and because Ohio, as a likely loosing party in a lawsuit, would “be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees of pro-choice activists’ lawyers” and would “invit[e] additional challenges to Ohio’s strong legal protections for unborn life.” However, with two new Trump-era appointees on the U.S. Supreme Court, many believe the balance of the Supreme Court has shifted, opening the possibility that the Supreme Court may uphold heartbeat laws if presented with the opportunity to decide on their constitutionality.

On June 6, 2017, Ohio State Representatives Christina Hagan (Dist. 50) and Ron Hood (Dist. 78) introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives another heartbeat bill, HB 258. On November 15, 2018, the House passed HB 258 with a bipartisan veto-proof majority (60 votes in favor, 35 against). The Ohio Senate went on to pass the bill as well on December 12, 2018 with a vote tally of 18-13, falling short of the margin necessary to override a veto. The Senate’s version of the bill added two new amendments to HB 258. The amended bill was sent back to the House of Representatives for a final vote, and the House concurred with the amendments. Ohio Governor Kasich, however, vetoed the bill on December 21, 2018. The House was able to come up with enough votes to override the Governor’s veto; however, the Senate, on a vote of 19-13, fell only one vote short of a veto override. Former Sen. Bill Beagle (5th District), while having voted for HB 258 in the original Senate vote, flip-flopped in the Senate override vote to vote against the bill.

Below is a brief timeline of heartbeat legislation in Ohio:

  • The first ever heartbeat bill is introduced in the Ohio House of Representative on February 24, 2011. The bill is introduced by former Representative Lynn Wachtmann.
  • On June 28, 2011, the Ohio House passed HB 125 on a vote of 54-44.
  • On August 21, 2013, heartbeat bill HB 248 was introduced in the House but failed to pass when the House voted on the bill on December 10, 2014.
  • Senator Kris Jordan introduced a heartbeat bill, SB 297, in the Senate on March 13, 2014 but the bill was not passed
  • On February 17, 2015, the Ohio House reintroduced heartbeat legislation with HB 69
  • On February 19, HB 69 was referred to committee
  • The House of Representatives passed HB 69 on March 25, 2015, with 55 votes in favor and 40 votes against
  • On March 26, 2015, the Senate considered HB 69 but no further action on the bill was taken
  • On December 6, 2016, the Senate added heartbeat bill language as an amendment to HB 493, a bill reforming the state’s child abuse and neglect reporting laws that had already passed the House earlier that year; the House approved HB 493 with the amended language the same day, sending HB 493 to the desk of Ohio Governor John Kasich for signature
  • On December 13, 2016, Governor Kasich used a line-item veto to strike the heartbeat bill language from HB 493
  • On June 6, 2017, a heartbeat bill (HB 258) sponsored by Representatives Hagan and Hood was introduced in the House of Representatives
  • On September 12, 2017, HB 258 was referred to the House Committee on Health
  • On December 13, 2017, HB 258 was passed out of committee
  • On November 15, 2018, the House passed HB 258 with a bi-partisan veto-proof majority (60 votes for, 35 against)
  • On November 19, 2018, HB 258 was introduced to the Ohio Senate
  • On November 28, 2018, HB 258 was referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee
  • Ohio Senate passed HB 258 by a margin of 18-13 on December 12, 2018; Ohio Governor John Kasich subsequently vetoed the bill the same day
  • On February 12, 2019, heartbeat bill SB 23 was introduced in the Ohio Senate
  • On March 12, SB 23 was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee by a vote of 8-4
  • On March 13, the Ohio Senate passed SB 23 by a margin of 19-13; the bill was subsequently introduced in the House the following day and referred to the Health Committee on March 19, 2019
  • On April 10, the House passed an amended version of SB 23 on a vote of 56-40; the same day, the Senate concurred in the House amendments by a vote of 18-13
  • On April 11, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signs SB 23 into law.
  • On May 15, 2019, the ACLU files a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio to challenge the constitutionality of SB 23.

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Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, three heartbeat bills have been introduced in the Senate, none of which have passed:

  • SB 606 (Full text) was introduced February 2, 2015. SB 606 was referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee upon second reading on February 3, 2015. The bill died in Committee.
  • SB 1118 (Full text) was introduced February 1, 2016. SB 1118 was referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee upon second reading on February 2, 2016. Committee reported “Do Pass” on the bill on February 22, 2016. SB 1118 died in Chamber.
  • SB 710 (Full text) was introduced February 6, 2017. SB 710 was referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee upon second reading, February 7, 2017. On February 28, 2017, the bill was withdrawn from the Health and Human Resources Committee and re-referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

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Pennsylvania

HB 2315 (Full text) was introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on May 2, 2018. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on the same day, where it remains pending.

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Rhode Island

Since 2014, pro-life lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives have introduced a resolution recognizing that “the existence of a fetal heartbeat or flutter is evidence of the existence of human life.” Unlike heartbeat bills in other states, Rhode Island’s heartbeat legislation is a resolution, not a bill. Because resolutions merely express the sense of the legislative body, they are not legally binding when passed. Consequently, unlike heartbeat bills in other states, Rhode Island’s heartbeat resolution would not ban abortion after a heartbeat can be detected. The Rhode Island heartbeat resolution would merely acknowledge a heartbeat as evidence of human life.

The resolution titled “House Resolution Recognizing the Fetus as a Human Life Upon the Existence of a Heartbeat” is authored by pro-life Rhode Island State Representative James McLaughlin. Several other pro-life lawmakers in the House have also sponsored or co-sponsored this resolution, including Reps. Nardolillo, Fellela, Corvese, Perez, and others. None of the heartbeat resolutions have passed the Rhode Island House so far.

  • H 7330 (Full text) was introduced on February 6, 2014. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on March 5th. On March 11th, the Committee recommended holding the bill for further consideration.
  • H 5153 (Full text), a slightly modified bill from H 7330, was introduced on January 21, 2015. The bill was referred the same day to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • H 7170 (Full text), a bill slightly modified again from H 5153, was introduced on January 14, 2016, and referred the same day to House Judiciary Committee. On March 29th, the Committee recommended holding the bill for further consideration.
  • H 5399 (Full text) was introduced February 3, 2017, and referred the same day to the House Judiciary Committee. On March 29th, the Committee recommended holding the bill for further consideration.
  • H 7180 (Full text) was introduced January 17, 2018, and referred the same day to the House Judiciary Committee. On April 10th, the Committee recommended holding the bill for further consideration.
  • H 5199 (Full text) was introduced on January 25, 2019 and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. On January 29th, the Committee recommended holding the bill for further study.

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South Carolina

The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act” has been introduced in the South Carolina General Assembly in every legislative session since the 2013-2014 legislative session.

During the 2019-2020 legislative session, heartbeat bills were introduced in both houses of the South Carolina Legislature. On December 12, 2018, heartbeat bill S 32 was prefiled in the Senate by Sen. Lawrence Grooms (District 37). On December 18, 2018, a companion heartbeat bill (H 3020) was also prefiled in the House of Representatives by Rep. John McCravy (District 13). Both bills were officially introduced in the legislature on January 8, 2019. S 32 was referred to the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs for consideration. H 3020 was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and was passed by the House on April 25, 2019. The bill was subsequently introduced in the Senate for consideration.

Heartbeat bills introduced in the South Carolina General Assembly since 2018 have been true heartbeat bills; that is, they ban abortion at any point during the pregnancy from the moment a heartbeat can be detected. Before 2018, however, heartbeat bills introduced in the South Carolina Legislature only sought to ban abortion when a heartbeat could be detected after 12 weeks post-conception (approximately 14 weeks gestation). As studies have shown, a heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks gestation with the best medical technology available and sometimes even as early as 5 weeks. As a result, these initial bills in South Carolina were not technically heartbeat bills because they did not ban abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected but only when a heartbeat can be detected after a specified gestational age.

From 2013-2017, “heartbeat” bills introduced in the South Carolina Legislature aimed to ban abortion only when a heartbeat can be detected after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

  • S 623 (Full text), was introduced in the South Carolina Senate on April 16, 2013. Referred to Committee on Medical Affairs; died in committee.
  • On December 3, 2014, S 96 (Full text) introduced in the Senate. Referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs; died in Committee.
  • On January 13, 2015, S 96 reintroduced in the Senate and referred again to the Committee on Medical Affairs; died in Committee.
  • On February 27, 2017, S 467 introduced in the Senate and referred to Committee on Medical Affairs; died in Committee.
  • On May 9, 2018, HB 5403 introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Judiciary Committee; died in Committee.
  • H 3020 introduced in the House of Representatives on January 8, 2019 and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • S 32 introduced in the Senate on January 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.
  • On April 25, 2019, an amended version of H 3020 passes the House on a final vote of 64-22. On the same day, H 3020 is introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

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Tennessee

Heartbeat bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate of the Tennessee General Assembly every year since 2017. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has indicated that he will support heartbeat legislation should a bill pass through the House and Senate.

On January 23, 2019, heartbeat bill HB 77 was introduced in the House of Representatives. A companion bill, SB 1236, was also introduced to the Senate on February 7, 2019 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 77 was passed by the House with amendments on March 7, 2019, by a margin of 65-21. The amendments added to HB 77 did not compromise or lessen the restrictions in the bill. HB 77 was introduced to the Senate on March 11, 2019.

SB 1236 was deferred to summer study on April 9, 2019.

HB 77 and SB 1236 are similar to bills introduced in 2018 and 2017. On January 26, 2017, Tennessee State Rep. James Van Huss (Jonesborough) introduced HB0108, the Tennessee heartbeat bill, in the Tennessee House of Representatives. On January 31, 2017, Tennessee State Sen. Mae Beavers (Mt. Juliet) introduced a companion bill, SB0244, in the Senate. The bills were reintroduced during the 2018 session as HB1892 and SB1961, both of which died in committee.

The original heartbeat bill, HB0108, would have banned all abortion in Tennessee from the moment a heartbeat could be detected via abdominal ultrasound, except in cases of a medical emergency that would threaten the life of the mother or that would risk “substantial and irreversible impairment of a bodily function.”

However, a written opinion issued by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery warned the Tennessee General Assembly that the heartbeat bills proposed by the House and Senate may not have withstood constitutional scrutiny. Attorney General Slatery however said that the bills’ provisions requiring doctors to perform an ultrasound prior to an abortion procedure may be constitutionally valid.

The bill was also opposed by some pro-lifers, including Tennessee Right to Life, out of fear that HB0108 would have given the U.S. Supreme Court, which at that time had a pro-abortion majority, an opportunity to strengthen Roe v. Wade by declaring heartbeat laws unconstitutional.

As a result, the provisions banning abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected was stripped from HB0108 through an amendment added to the bill on February 12, 2018. As such, the new amended version of HB0108 ceased to become a heartbeat bill.

In its place, provisions were added requiring doctors to offer women the opportunity to know the results of an ultrasound prior to undergoing an abortion. However, nothing in the new amended HB0108 requires abortionists to perform an ultrasound in the first place. Abortionists are only required to offer women undergoing abortion the results of an ultrasound if they choose to perform the test. The newly amended HB0108 later passed both the House and the Senate and was later signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam, but because the heartbeat language was taken out of the bill, the law is not a heartbeat law.

  • HB0108 (Full text) introduced on January 26, 2017. Referred to Health Committee February 1st, and Health Subcommittee February 15th.
  • SB0244 (Full text) introduced on January 31, 2017. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee February 2nd.
  • HB0108 placed again on House Health Subcommittee calendar January 10, 2018.
  • HB1892 (Full text), a bill identical to HB0108, was introduced in the House on January 25, 2018. The bill was referred to the Health Committee January 31st, and the Health Subcommittee the same day, and died in committee.
  • SB1961 (Full text) was introduced on January 29, 2018. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 1st; died in committee.
  • On January 31, 2018, the House Health Subcommittee recommended HB0108 for passage if amended and the bill was referred to the full House Health Committee
  • On February 6, 2018, the House Health Committee recommended HB0108 for passage if amended and referred the bill to the Calendar and Rules Committee
  • On February 12, 2018, the Tennessee House of Representatives amended HB0108 with Amendment 1 (HA0672), stripping the bill of provisions which would have banned abortion from the moment a heartbeat can be detected. HB0108 ceased to be a heartbeat bill.
  • On January 23, 2019, HB 77 was introduced in the House.
  • On February 7, 2019, SB 1236 introduced to the Senate; referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11th.
  • On February 26, 2019, HB 77 was approved by the House Health Committee with a vote of 15-4.
  • On March 7, 2019, an amended version of HB 77 passed the House by a margin of 65-21.
  • On March 11, 2019, HB 77 introduced in the Senate.
  • On April 9, 2019, the Senate Judiciary Committee defers SB 1236 to summer study.

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Texas

In 2019, heartbeat bill HB 1500 was introduced in the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. Briscoe Cain (Dist. 128) on February 7th. HB 1500 was referred to the House Public Health Committee on February 27th.

Before the 2019 legislative session, one other heartbeat bill had been introduced in the Texas Legislaure back in 2013. Heartbeat bill HB 59 was introduced in the House on July 18, 2013 by Rep. Phil King (Dist. 61). HB 59 was filed but was never referred to a committee for consideration.

  • HB 59 filed in the House of Representatives on July 18, 2013.
  • HB 1500 filed in the House of Representative on February 7, 2019.
  • On February 27, 2019, HB 1500 was referred to the Public Health Committee.

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West Virginia

In West Virginia, three heartbeat bills were been introduced in the state legislature during the 2019 legislative session. On February 7, 2019, heartbeat bill HB 2903 was introduced in the House of Delegates with Del. Ralph Rodighiero (D - 24th District) as the bill’s lead sponsor. The following day, on February 8th, another heartbeat bill (HB 2915) was introduced in the House by the bill’s lead sponsor Del. Evan Worrell (R – 18th District). Both bills were referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee and subsequently to the Judiciary Committee. On February 14, a heartbeat bill was introduced in the Senate, SB 606, by state Sen. Randy Smith (R – 14th District). SB 606 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources. None of the bills introduced in the 2019 were brought up for a vote before the legislative session ended.

  • February 7, 2019, heartbeat bill HB 2903 introduced in the House of Delegates
  • February 8, 2019, heartbeat bill HB 2915 introduced in the House of Delegates
  • February 14, 2019, heartbeat bill SB 606 introduced in the Senate.

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Wyoming

A fetal heartbeat bill, HB 97 (Full text), was introduced in Wyoming in January of 2013. The bill was struck down by a house committee in February 2013.

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1 See Pennell RG, Needleman L, Pajak T, Baltarowich O, Vilaro M, Goldberg BB, et al. Prospective comparison of vaginal and abdominal sonography in normal early pregnancy. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. 1991 Feb;10(2):63-7. See also Mitra AG, Laurent SL, Moore JE, Blanchard Jr GF, Chescheir NC. Transvaginal versus transabdominal Doppler auscultation of fetal heart activity: A comparative study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1996 Jul 1;175(1):41-4. See also Robinson HP. Detection of fetal heart movement in first trimester of pregnancy using pulsed ultrasound. Br Med J. 1972 Nov 25;4(5838):466-8. See also Condous G, Okaro E, Bourne T. The conservative management of early pregnancy complications: a review of the literature. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2003 Oct 1;22(4):420-30. See also Danielsson K. Are ultrasounds accurate for finding a baby's heartbeat? Types of ultrasounds and their uses. VeryWell Family. Updated 2018 May 15. Available from:
https://www.verywellfamily.com/fetal-heartbeat-and-ultrasound-accuracy-2371239.

2 Britten S, Soenksen DM, Bustillo M, Coulam CB. Pregnancy: Very early (24–56 days from last menstrual period) embryonic heart rate in normal pregnancies. Human Reproduction. 1994 Dec 1;9(12):2424-2426.

3 Tong S, Kaur A, Walker SP, Bryant V, Onwude JL, Permezel M. Miscarriage risk for asymptomatic women after a normal first-trimester prenatal visit. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2008 Mar 1;111(3):710-4.

4 Simpson JL, Mills JL, Holmes LB, Ober CL, Aarons J, Jovanovic L, et al. Low fetal loss rates after ultrasound-proved viability in early pregnancy. JAMA<e/m>. 1987 Nov 13;258(18):2555-7.

5 Griebel CP, Halvorsen J, Golemon TB, Day AA. Management of spontaneous abortion. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Oct 1;72(7):1243-50.

6 Tannirandorn Y, Sangsawang S, Manotaya S, Uerpairojkit B, Samritpradit P, Charoenvidhya D. Fetal loss in threatened abortion after embryonic/fetal heart activity. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 2003 Jun;81(3):263-6.

7 Steven R. Goldstein, Bala R. Subramanyam, B. Nagesh Raghavendra, Steven C. Horii, Susan Hilton, “Subchoionic bleeding in threatened abortion: sonographic findings and significance,” AJR 141, no. 5 (1983):975-978.