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The Fetal Heartbeat Bill

There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible  – the new normal. –Michel Foucault

The ethical resistance of the powerless others to our capacity to exert power over them is therefore what imposes unenforceable obligations on us. The obligations are unenforceable precisely because of the others lack of power. That actions are at once obligatory and at the same time unenforceable is what puts them in the category of the ethical. -David Couzens Hoy on our ethical obligation to protect the powerless.

Physico-chemical reductionism in biology is the orthodox view, and any resistance to it is regarded as not only scientifically but politically incorrect. –Thomas Nagel on the difficulty of challenging materialist naturalism as to why it cannot explain the existence of human consciousness.

Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; -Isaiah 44:24

In the next few days the South Carolina House will debate the fetal heartbeat bill which requires doctors to conduct an ultrasound to detect a fetal heartbeat upon any mother seeking an abortion. If the doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, the unborn child cannot be aborted. The bill allows doctors to perform an abortion to protect the mother’s health and in the cases of rape and incest.

With advances in medical technology, doctors can detect fetal heartbeats as early as the 6th week of pregnancy. According to the CDC, 91% of all abortions are performed prior to the 13th week of pregnancy. If enacted this bill would save a significant number of lives.

We are not alone in our efforts to save lives. During the last decade, several states have passed fetal heartbeat legislation to reduce the number of abortions within their state borders. Most recently, the Georgia General Assembly passed a fetal heartbeat bill similar to ours that now awaits the signature of their Governor. These state efforts have not gone unchallenged from pro-choice advocates. Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits opposing fetal heartbeat laws in state and federal courts across the country. So far, the various courts have found the fetal heartbeat laws unconstitutional or have put the laws on hold until the United States Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade. I expect the same outcome for our fetal heartbeat bill if enacted.

Before Planned Parenthood can challenge our fetal heartbeat bill, the bill must first become law. Pro-life bills are difficult to debate. Being in the minority, pro-choice supporters vilify pro-life supporters with a vehemence unmatched in other political subjects. The pro-life majority rarely answers the usual accusations of chauvinism, racism and hatred of the poor. We just listen to their outrage then vote the pro-life bill out to the Senate.

Sometimes the vilification gets to be a bit much and a few of us will respond. The first time I rose to speak against abortion was in 2010. We were debating at 3 am, which explains my groggy voice if you watch the below video..

The pro-choice crowd often accuses us of hypocrisy. They claim that we love the unborn child then ignore the child after it arrives. In other words, they point out what we have been saying for years – Republicans are not socialists. We do not believe in cradle to grave care by the government although I am not sure that all Republicans in the General Assembly know that.

However, since the pro-choice side accuses pro-lifer supporters of suffering from aporophobia (hatred of poor people – my word not theirs though the progressives will throw “xenophobia” on us during illegal alien debates) maybe we should look at some statistics. I normally use the opposition’s numbers just to avoid a debate over the legitimacy of data. 

The Guttmacher Institute. exists to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States. Their data should satisfy the pro-choice supporters.

Guttmacher reports that 75% of those who received an abortion are poor or low-income. The three main reasons given to have an abortion were that a new baby would interfere with their concern or responsibility for someone else, would cost too much, or would interfere with work, school or other commitments. Babies do tend to disrupt those things.

I have always been curious about the financial excuse. What is the currency exchange rate to prevent a baby’s death? What is the dollar amount that would change a mother’s mind to not abort her child? Getting back to the cradle to grave government safety net that progressives dream about, would free childcare from birth to age 4 make a difference? What if we threw in some universal basic income? Added more free education to the mix?

Federal courts have ruled that state pre-viability anti-abortion laws cannot put an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. The “undue burden” standard was established in Planned Parenthood vs Casey (1992). It seems that a woman cannot be burdened by a baby that did not ask to be conceived or by any law that would require her to take responsibility for or even acknowledge the humanity of the life that was conceived in her.

Guttmacher also states that the majority of abortions were of unintended babies who were conceived due to a lack of contraception use by the parents. Apparently, undue burden extends to the minimal effort needed to use some type of birth control by either parent.

The fetal heartbeat bill was debated for seven hours before it was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. During the coming debate before the full House I expect the pro-choice House members will file over one hundred amendments to the bill in an attempt to stop it. As we debate the amendments, pro-life members will witness self-righteous indignation, listen to sanctimonious oratory and suffer accusations of prejudice all in defense of a woman’s “right” to choose death over responsibility.

Below are a few words from 2010 –


  1. Lucia Messina

    I think the comment aboe by Alan certainly said it well enough.
    There are still two very big problems, you don’t have the right to tell what i can do with my body and never will. Just as I don’t tell you.

    And you don’t have to been a socialist to care about the kids that are born and live in poverty. You simply don’t care, if you did , then you would make sure every unwanted baby had a wonderful ad caring home the minute it is born.
    But you will not do that, you don’t care what happens to these babies.
    There are thousands of orphaned children waiting for adoption and we throw them out of the system at 17 or 18, what about their lives?

    You are more worried about giving birth…than , caring for the children.
    What is the game plan ? To make a permanent class of unwanted, unprovided , unloved children?

    Short sighted and cruel, where is the humanity?

  2. Amanda Braswell

    This bill will not stop unplanned pregnancy nor will it prevent abortion. If a woman does carry the fetus to term, what then? Do these babies then become part of the ‘socialist’ programs you do not believe in? When a poor woman is forced to remain pregnant, who is paying for that medical care? What programs are you sponsoring to insure access to contraception methods that you believe require ‘minimal effort …to use’?

    I listened as this bill’s sponsor spoke in committee about his knowledge and reasoning for this bill. His research included google (although he could not remember the websites or sources), talk shows and a random doctor that he spoke to a few years ago. This was painfully embarrassing as it was obvious that this bill is nothing more than politics.

    This bill and the legal battle that you and your colleagues are setting us up for has nothing to do with protecting lives. We have significant issues that we could be focused on but this is what keeps us at the bottom of every list we do not want our state to be on.

    Protect our children by promoting real sex education, responsible gun laws, child poverty prevention and real education reform. Stop with the ‘socialist!’ scare word of the election cycle and represent ALL of your constituents.

    Amanda Braswell
    District 18 Constituent

  3. Though I am NOT a great lover of abortion, and I’m certainly sicked by abortion as a birth control technique, plus having to pay for it via tax dollars, I must say that the Heart Beat Bill is a pathetic answer, to the problem.

    Up front, one must admit that there are some valid purposes for abortion, beyond the discovery of a heart beat.

    The early heart beat does not guarantee the viability of the fetus, as the organs are very far from sustaining life.

    I grant you, that as a fetus, life has begun, but it is not a viable baby yet. And it won’t be, until the organs are fully developed.

    I think that viability, i.e. a baby verses a fetus, is a more practical test, which does occur, approximately, upon entering the second trimester.

    I do not think that this bill is properly thought out. As it stands, as written, I would not, and can not, accept it.

    Please give this issue some medical & scientific review, instead of knee-jerk emotional view.

    Thank you for your ear.

    Alan Chwick
    4449 Stokes Road, Greer, SC 29651

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