Right before the U.S. House of Representatives went into August recess, legislation was introduced that would block abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
House Resolution 3985 was introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) and was immediately co-sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). The bill is currently scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
While there is not currently text available for the bill, a quick summary reads: “To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit abortion in cases where a fetal heartbeat is detectable.”
The bill has been referred to committee, and will be taken up there next. However, any action will not occur until the House comes back from recess in September.
Flores has not released a statement regarding the bill but has certainly been active on Twitter, retweeting pro-life content like the following:
And here's the video of it….https://t.co/dwyXZygF5K— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) July 25, 2019
Text for the bill will be released soon, but it is speculated that this bill is a successor of House Resolution 490, which was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in January. H.R. 490 would have made it a crime:
[F]or a physician to knowingly perform an abortion (1) without determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, (2) without informing the mother of the results, or (3) after determining that a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
Since House Democrats are in the majority, it is unlikely that H.R. 3985 will make it out of committee. Similar legislation has been blocked, including Democratic leadership refusing to bring “born alive” legislation to a vote 75 different times.
“The refusal by House Democrats to allow a vote on common sense legislation that protects the life of innocent babies and their mothers is abhorrent,” commented Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
Pro-life legislation is being passed at the state level across the country. Multiple states have already passed fetal heartbeat protection bills that serve the same purpose as H.R. 3985. However, immediate legal challenges to the bills have kept most legislation from going into effect.