The debate surrounding abortion intensified following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion in the Dobbs case, which would, if issued, overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion policy to the people and their elected representatives. Predictably, the Left is responding by leading efforts to allow for abortion on demand, and the elimination of all state-level abortion restrictions, existing state and federal conscience protection laws, and policies limiting taxpayer funding for abortions. Knowing this, Republicans must move to defend life at the state level and take action at the federal level to prevent the Democrats and the abortion industry from achieving their desire to provide abortion for all.
Fortunately, Congressman Mike Kelly’s (PA-16) H.R. 705, the Heartbeat Protection Act, pushes back on the Left’s assault on life. The proposal first requires doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. It also establishes a criminal penalty for any physician who performs an abortion without checking for a heartbeat or aborts a child with a detected heartbeat. By enacting federal protections for the unborn through proposals like the Heartbeat Protection Act, members can proactively protect life from Left-leaning states seeking to establish abortion safe havens as Roe is overturned.
There is a reason states have enacted more than 500 life-affirming policies in the past decade. Elected representatives did what their constituents asked them to do: protect women and protect unborn life. Congress would do well to remember that 3 in 4 Americans support significantly limiting abortion, and Rep. Kelly’s bill–if enacted–would be in line with this prevailing opinion. Members should not be intimidated by the rhetoric of the Left and should not cower to the well-funded abortion lobby. After all, human lives are at stake, and a failure to act will see countless lives snuffed out.
Heritage Action supports the Heartbeat Protection Act (H.R. 705) and encourages members to cosponsor the bill.