Editorial: Heartbeat consent bill could save unborn babies from death

In our society, we hold others accountable for their actions, just or unjust. So why is it that abortions seem to bypass this responsibility?

Over the past month, anti-abortionists and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have advocated for The Heartbeat Informed Consent Act, a bill that would require abortion providers to use an ultrasound to detect the heartbeat of an unborn child before the woman can legally consent to have an abortion.

Last Wednesday the Associated Press reported “a nationwide coalition of anti-abortion groups said it is preparing to push legislation in all 50 states requiring that pregnant women see and hear the fetal heartbeat before having an abortion.”

Doctors not only have to detect a heartbeat, but they must describe the image of the unborn child, even if the woman doesn’t want to know.

Various groups such as Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, the National Right to Life and Family Research Council Action are in full support of this bill.

A bill like this is necessary to hold women seeking an abortion accountable for their actions.

The main question with abortions is whether the fetus is considered a human. If this bill were to pass Congress, women might think twice about going through with the procedure if a heartbeat were detected.

In a recent statement, Bachmann said, “A study by Focus on the Family found that when women who were undecided about having an abortion were shown an ultrasound image of the baby, 78 percent chose life.”

Doctors who regularly perform abortions and those who support abortions disagree with Bachmann and anti-abortionists because they believe this bill would take away a woman’s private choice.

An Oct. 17 article for Time magazine said abortion rights advocates “argue that the state has no business trying to lobby patients about medical procedures, or to turn doctors into government mouthpieces.”

However, having an abortion is a major decision and should not be taken lightly. This heartbeat bill does not deny anyone from having an abortion, rather, it allows the woman to make an informed decision to go along with the procedure or change her mind.

Anti-abortionists in Ohio have pushed to have a more extreme law that would deny a woman an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Heartbeat Informed Consent Act is a much better law to push for because it does not take away the personal decision if a heartbeat is detected. Requiring a woman to have an ultrasound simply allows her to make a more educated and well-informed decision. Without this bill, the consequences of having an abortion might not be conveyed as effectively as possible.

Both the unborn child and the woman choosing to have the abortion ought to have a say in the decision. Although the unborn child cannot speak on its behalf, the detection of a heartbeat may be enough to save its life.