Lawmakers in Georgia and Tennessee have joined other states in getting behind heartbeat bills but a pro-life group suggests legislators might want to focus on other bills.
A heartbeat bill bans abortion once a baby's heartbeat is detected, typically around the six-week mark, and OneNewNow has reported pro-life activists predict the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually rule on in a future landmark case.
In the Georgia legislature, Rep. Ed Setzler says the measure recognizes that a child in the womb is “living district from their mother” and therefore has a “right to life” that deserves legal protection.
Supporters of heartbeat bills also argue that they protect the health and safety of mothers, as abortions are more dangerous for them the further they are in pregnancy.
Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life sees issues, however, sees looming issues in the effort.
"Heartbeat bills have a very, very steep hill to climb to ever be enforced for a day,” Forsythe, an attorney, warns. “And legislators need to count the costs as well as investing their limited time and resources into other bills that could protect unborn children, protect maternal health from abortion, and be enforced and have a positive impact.”
The pro-life activist-attorney points out the Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals over laws in Arkansas and North Dakota, and there’s no sign that the court is interested in hearing such a case, he says.
A state could end up paying attorneys’ fees to Planned Parenthood and its attorneys should the Court come down against a first trimester prohibition.
So what does Forsythe recommend states do?
"Look at ultrasound informed consent laws, stopping government funding of abortion, stopping government endorsement of abortion," he answers. "There are other bills that can be passed and go into effect soon and have a positive impact."