Lawmakers See Fetus Ultrasounds During 'Heartbeat' Bill Hearings


UPDATED: Thursday March 3, 2011 2:57 PM

Lawmakers on Wednesday saw ultrasound images of two fetuses as proponents of a bill that, if approved, would be the most stringent abortion law in the U.S. began testifying.
     
The so-called "Heartbeat" bill would ban abortions after the first heartbeat can be medically detected, 10TV's Chuck Strickler reported.

Republican Rep. Lynn Wachtmann introduced the bill last month.
     
Two pregnant women were given ultrasounds as part of a House committee meeting Wednesday morning. 

The heartbeat of a fetus at 15 weeks gestation was easily detected. The heartbeat in a fetus of nine weeks gestation was difficult to detect.

The images were broadcast on a screen and a little flashing dot was identified as the beating heart.

Aside from seeing the heart beating, committee members could also hear it, Strickler reported.
 
Supporters said this is the best way to show people who will be affected by the legislation.

"A child is a child at conception," said mother Erin Glockner. "They have a right to live.  Whether a parent wants to keep it for themselves or give it to another family, people want kids, and babies who can't speak for themselves before they're born deserve a chance."

Opponents said the bill is unconstitutional and will most assuredly be challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"They were used as props, and women are not props. Women are citizens and we deserve the right to protect or have them to make their own decisions," said NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio spokeswoman Kellie Copeland. "I don't think Lynn Wachtmann or anybody else should be able to make decisions for every woman which is exactly what they're trying to do."

Wednesday was the first day of testimony, but with 50 co-sponsors, the bill is likely to pass.
     
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February 8, 2011: Proposed Abortion Limit Would Use Heartbeat As Trigger