Back in December, the Ohio House of Representatives passed the controversial Heartbeat Bill, which would ban abortion after roughly six weeks or when doctors could detect a heartbeat in a fetus. While Governor John Kasich vetoed the bill in favor of signing one that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, it still was seen by many as a sign of the changes that could be coming for abortion rights.
Those concerns were validated on Friday afternoon, as Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, sponsored a national version of the bill. According to King:
“Human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all of its forms and today, I introduced a bill that will protect the lives of voiceless innocents. My legislation will require all physicians, before conducting an abortion, to detect the heartbeat of the unborn child. If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”
The bill is a direct response to Roe V. Wade, which the Trump administration is looking to overturn, establishing the legal standard for abortion at 24 weeks. The Supreme Court had set that timeline for the gestational viability of a fetus, and a restrictive ban at six weeks would make it very difficult for many women to even realize that they’re pregnant in time to terminate.
While it is unlikely that such a bill will be passed, it does offer a glimpse of what’s to come in the fight for women’s rights.