Republicans in the House of Representatives have announced a scheduled hearing (for November 1) on controversial legislation that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, something that usually happens at the six-week mark, a time when many women don’t yet know they are pregnant.
NARAL Communications Director James Owens tweeted a screenshot of the announcement for the hearing:
The bill, introduced by Iowa’s Steve King, is strikingly similar to a bill that was vetoed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in December because the law was deemed unconstitutional and would have quickly resulted in lawsuits — a lesson learned after North Dakota lost a challenge to its own fetal heartbeat bill in 2013. Earlier in October, the House passed a 20-week abortion ban that the Senate has yet to vote on.
According to an interview King gave earlier this year, he knows the bill would ultimately be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. But he figures that by the time the bill snakes its way through the appeals process to SCOTUS, President Trump will have appointed a new justice, and Roe v. Wade will have been overturned. King’s optimistic that the bill is the first step toward outlawing abortion altogether. Given the Trump administration’s documented efforts to prevent abortions, that optimism is not unwarranted.