Republicans File Nationwide 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban Bill Late On Friday The 13th

Republicans File Nationwide ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban Bill Late On Friday The 13th

Republicans Sneak In Abortion Ban Bill Late On Friday The 13th

Late on a Friday evening, especially before a long weekend, is a great time for sneaky maneuvers in Washington, D.C. And Republicans didn’t disappoint. On Friday evening, House Republican Rep. from Iowa, Steve King, filed H.R. 490, or a “heartbeat” abortion ban bill, Rewire reported. This would ban any pregnant woman from legally receiving abortion healthcare services if a fetal “heartbeat” was detected. This can happen as early as 6 weeks after conception, often before many women are even aware that they are pregnant. Thus, it serves as a virtual blanket ban on abortion.

Republicans attempted to implement the same kind of law in Ohio in December, saying that Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory had “changed the dynamic.” Governor John Kasich vetoed the bill on the grounds that it was vulnerable to legal challenges. He signed a 20-week abortion ban that Republicans had proffered at the same time, though.

Related: Ohio Passes ‘Unconstitutional’ ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill Because Trump ‘Changed The Dynamic’

With Republicans controlling all three branches of federal government, statehouses across the country, and a stolen Supreme Court seat, these types of bills are likely to keep coming. And though they could get through Congress, get signed by the president, and make life hell for average women, they will almost certainly face legal challenges.

The Roe v. Wade ruling secured the right to an abortion in 1973. In recent years, it has been increasingly under attack by Republicans trying to find ways around the freedom it enshrined. In the coming onslaught against basic liberties, it’s important to remember exactly why abortion is a Constitutional right. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Fourteenth Amendment’s right to privacy meant the state could not interfere with a woman’s choice to have an abortion. The court also ruled that a non-viable fetus could not be considered a “person” in any legal sense.

A “heartbeat” abortion ban bill flips this on its head, premised on the idea that a non-viable fetus, which would not be considered a person in any other context, has rights that supersede the right of a woman to privacy, to the control and decision-making over her own person and body.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act is just the beginning of the Republican party’s plans. They plan to turn America’s clock back at least half a century, and probably longer.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images