With Donald Trump's presidential inauguration just around the corner, Republicans in the Senate are already making some noise in Congress. Controversy behind the Ohio Heartbeat Bill hasn't even died down yet, but a new nationwide Heartbeat Bill is now being presented at the House of Representatives by GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa.

The Heartbeat Bill is a nationwide version of the controversial Ohio Heartbeat Bill, which will effectively ban abortions at the very first sign of a fetal heartbeat. If passed into law, the Heartbeat Bill will deem any abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy a felony.

The Ohio Heartbeat Bill History

The current proposal in Congress reminds many of the Ohio Heartbeat Bill that made a significant amount of noise in 2015. Proposed by Faith2Action president Janet Porter, Ohio's anti-abortion bill also recommended the illegalization of abortions six weeks after fertilization. As the bill made abortion a crime, both physician and patient will be made liable to the law.

The legislation drew criticism over its premise that would essentially restrict women from making choices for their own bodies.

In 2015, the proposed bill faced strong opposition and was blocked by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who then signed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Ohio's current law bans abortions after 24 weeks of gestation.

What You Need To Know About The Heartbeat Bill In Congress

The proposed nationwide Heartbeat Bill looks like it is following in the footsteps of the blocked 2015 Ohio Heartbeat Bill.

Grace Period

In the Ohio version of the bill, as previously mentioned, both physician and mother would be considered liable to the law should they perform the procedure after the given grace period.

The problem lies in the said grace period since many women do not even realize that they are pregnant at six weeks, hence automatically removing the liberty to choose their course of action.


There were exceptions in the proposal: cases where the mother's life is placed in serious danger due to the pregnancy are exempted from legal action. However, cases of pregnancy due to rape or incest were not mentioned in the proposition.

As it stands, the proposed nationwide Heartbeat Bill is likely to receive strong opposition, just as it did in Ohio, North Dakota, and Arkansas. Whether the bill passes or fails, a single search through Congress' bill tracker will instantly show how many bills pertaining to abortion are currently under scrutiny by the House of Representatives.

"America was founded on the concept that our rights come from God. All human persons have a right to life. How then could we confer that those rights allow the killing of a baby?" King said. "I believe our most important responsibility that God has bestowed upon us is to protect innocent human life, and I will continue to dedicate my life to that responsibility."

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