This hearing will examine legislation that establishes criminal penalties for physicians who knowingly perform an abortion after determining that a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
Witnesses at the hearing will include:
- Priscilla Smith, Clinical Lecturer in Law, Reproductive Rights and Justice Project
- David F. Forte, Professor of Law, Cleveland State University
- Dr. Kathi Aultman, M.D., Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute
- Star Parker, Founder and President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Steve King (R-Iowa) have issued the following statements ahead of the hearing:
Chairman Goodlatte: “One of our most fundamental obligations as lawmakers is to protect human life. The proposed bill, the Heartbeat Protection Act, defends life from one of the earliest moments it can be detected—as soon as a doctor can find a child’s heartbeat. Each beating heart represents a unique human being with dignity and rights that deserves to be protected from the dangers of abortion.
“I thank my colleague Representative King for his hard work on this bill, and I look forward to hearing from our esteemed panel of legal and medical experts at the hearing.”
Subcommittee Chairman King: “Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government. Human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all of its forms and we must protect the lives of voiceless innocents. The Heartbeat Protection Act, H.R. 490, will require all physicians, before conducting an abortion, to detect the heartbeat of the unborn child and if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected. I welcome this opportunity to have my legislation given in-depth consideration by Congress and to bring attention to the importance of preserving each of these precious lives.”
The hearing will take place in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov. Camera crew wishing to cover the hearing must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202 225-5214.
The Heartbeat Protection Act makes it a crime to perform an abortion without determining whether a fetus has a heartbeat, without informing the mother of the results, or after determining that the fetus does have a detectable heartbeat.
This bill includes exceptions for abortions to save the life of the mother, and does not allow the prosecution of women who violate or conspire to violate this bill.
Earlier this year, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 36, a product of the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Bob Goodlatte has also spoken out against taxpayer funding for abortions and late-term abortions.