Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed his state’s version of the heartbeat bill on Tuesday. Georgia’s bill will prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected, but does offer exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
Congressman Steve King introduced the heartbeat bill in Congress in 2017. He was instrumental in helping the legislation pass through the Iowa legislature in 2018.
King said Ed Martin was in his office a couple weeks ago. Martin, who heads Eagle Forum, emphatically said to King that it was King who launched this nationwide movement with his bill in Congress.
“I might make that case, but wouldn’t make it as emphatically as he did out of humility,” King said. “We gave it credibility with 174 cosponsors here in Washington and having written the bill for Iowa and nursed that thing through to that point. That gave a lot of confidence to other states in the country.”
King cited polling numbers that showed Independents supported the heartbeat bill at 61 percent and even Democrats supported it at 55 percent. The polling did not include exceptions.
“When Congress went (as far as it did), that gave it nationwide credibility,” King said. “When Iowa passed it and signed it into law, there was an if Iowa can pass pro-life legislation like this, then a lot of other states in the country are ready for it too.”
America, King said, is becoming more pro-life thanks to detailed ultrasounds. During a hearing on the heartbeat bill, King said he brought in the youngest witness to testify in the history of Congress.
“He was 18 weeks into development — this little guy, Lincoln Glenn Miller,” King said. “We had him on ultrasound and the Democrats would not look at the screen. They really wanted no part of that testimony.”
The heartbeat bill is now sweeping its way across the country. King said seven or eight states have passed heartbeat legislation. Ten or 11 have something pending.
“We’re in the neighborhood of 20 states that have taken action,” he said.
Ohio’s version does not contain exceptions. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed the bill in the past, but Gov. Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s heartbeat bill on April 11, 2019. King has been invited to Ohio later this month where there will be a celebration in recognition of the heartbeat bill.
King also visited South Carolina to promote a heartbeat bill. It has not passed yet, but there’s working being done to make it happen.
“We’ve been pushing it within other states and tweaking it here and there,” King said. “It’s very, very gratifying to see an idea that was essentially dormant in America and has now picked up and gotten momentum.”
Georgia’s version declares Personhood for a baby with a beating heart.
“I got the text right from the bill signing ceremony from Jody Hice who is a congressman from Georgia and is in my Bible study group on Wednesdays,” King said. “He sent a text and was standing there with a big grin on his face with Gov. Kemp.”
Hice told King the governor invited all the active pro-life folks into the bill signing ceremony and it was like a “great big reunion.”
“Some had been working on this for 25 years,” King said. “There was such joy at that bill signing ceremony. I’m happy with what Georgia has accomplished and Ohio and the rest of the states. I’m happy with Iowa, even though we weren’t able to continue with the litigation.”
King speculated that when the heartbeat bill gets to the Supreme Court, it will be a combination of states that requires the court to pick it up and deal with it.
“At some point how does the Supreme Court conclude that the people in the states cannot declare what a person is or that they cannot protect a heartbeat that’s as innocent as can be,” King said. “It’s completely illogical to have Roe, Doe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey regulating life and death and prohibiting these states or the federal government from protecting innocent human life. The same court that found the death penalty to be cruel and unusual but didn’t seem to think the death penalty for an unborn baby was anything except health care for the mother.”
Democrats across the country have made headlines recently for remarks made supporting abortion. An Alabama Democrat talked about unwanted babies, saying they could be killed now or later. A state representative in Pennsylvania has drawn ire for harassing pro-life protestors. CNN guest Christine Quinn said on Monday that when a woman gets pregnant, she’s not pregnant with a human being.
“They’ve gone to an awful, awful place and they have shown their cards,” King said. “Our country is making progress. I’m looking at states that have passed it and states that are close — the more we do, the easier it is for other states to follow suit.”
While it’s great to see the heartbeat bill movement gaining traction across the country, King said it is important to get legislation passed at the national level as well.
“If state legislation does go before the Supreme Court and it’s ruled a states’ rights issue, then there will be states that are pro-abortion states, states that are pro-life states and we won’t have one national standard,” he said. “If we have one national standard for marriage that was imposed upon the entire United States of America without ever having a successful vote on it — in fact we had the Defense of Marriage Act, which they reversed in the process — if they can impose something that’s never existed before in history like mandated same-sex marriage without an act of Congress, then we as an act of the legislature can surely protect innocent unborn human life.”