Because old entitled white men never get tired of deciding what is best for women and their reproductive health, the GOP is set to introduce a bill next week that would implement a federal ban on abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy—or before most women even know they’re pregnant.
H.R. 490—otherwise known as the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017—was introduced by House Republicans in January and is set for a hearing Nov. 1, according to ThinkProgress. The bill is an amendment to the federal criminal code that makes it a crime for any physician “to knowingly perform an abortion: (1) without determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, (2) without informing the mother of the results, or (3) after determining that a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.”
The bill provides an exception clause for abortions that are necessary “to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical (but not psychological or emotional) disorder, illness, or condition.” The law is aimed specifically at punishing physicians who perform abortions: A physician found guilty of breaking the law would be subject to criminal penalties that include a fine, five years in prison or both.
The bill is sponsored by Iowa Republican Steve King, who said in January: “Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government. If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”
King also later told reporters, “We think this bill, properly applied, does eliminate a large, large share of the abortions—90 percent or better—of the abortions in America.”
Keep in mind that this is the same Republican Party that is seeking to make sweeping cuts to social welfare programs. In fact, it was King himself who suggested cutting food stamps to free up money to build Donald Trump’s wall of doom at the Mexican border.
So King and the GOP want to protect the lives of babies, but not feed them, clothe them, educate them or provide health care for them. Remember, Republicans failed to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
They just want the children to be born.
This is just another attempt to infringe on the reproductive rights of women and to ban abortion entirely. I’m not sure why the GOP is so hell-bent on making this happen—and even if this legislation makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which it likely will, we don’t have much hope for a win there, either.
It’s almost as if our government only cares about people who are rich, white and male.
Read more at ThinkProgress.