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PREPARING HEARTBEAT BILLS

PREPARING HEARTBEAT BILLS

The issue of Heartbeat Bills came up again during some candidate forums and candidates are now posturing over who is more “pro-life,” and who is more “effectively pro-life.”

Before we comment on the candidates and their posturing, let’s take a look at the bill that is currently being used as a measurement of a candidate’s “pro-life” sincerity and effectiveness.

House Bill 302, “An Act prohibiting abortion after detection of fetal cardiac activity or fetal heart contractions” was introduced by a strange mix of 19 House Republicans that included: 

  • Seven legislators who opposed even allowing the Life At Conception Act a committee hearing less than a month prior (Merrick, Stutes, Thompson, LeBon, Kopp, Gillis, Shaw).
  • Five, who are openly Pro-CHOICE (LeBon, Thompson, Stutes, LeDoux, and Sullivan-Leonard)
  • Four, whose Alaska Right to Life endorsements were revoked for violating their pledges in 2016 and 2018 (Rauscher, Tilton, Kopp, Johnson)
  • Five who introduced or supported Pro-CHOICE legislation in the past (Tilton, Sullivan-Leonard, Rauscher, Kopp, LeDoux)
  • Five, who couldn’t be counted on for a vote because they missed a collective 752 votes between the five of them (Neuman (287), Rasmussen (165), Jackson (115), Rauscher (113), and LeDoux (72)).
  • The “Final Four” include Vance (the prime sponsor), TalericoCarpenter, and Prax)
Please ponder this thought as we review the bill:  how would you judge the merits of this bill based exclusively on who signed onto it? 
  • Of the 19 who signed onto this bill:
  • Four lost their Pro-Life endorsements in 2018
  • Five have introduced or supported Pro-CHOICE legislation in the past
  • Five are openly Pro-CHOICE.
  • Seven voted to prevent the Life At Conception Act from even being debated.

Before you judge the merits of the bill based on its sponsors, let’s consider what makes a bill “Effectively Pro-Life.”  Today we will consider some points of what’s needed to be Effectively Prepared, and in this series, we will explore the other components of “Effectively Pro-Life” legislation, including:

1. EFFECTIVELY PREPARED
2. EFFECTIVELY PRINCIPLED
3. EFFECTIVE POLICIES
4. EFFECTIVE PRAGMATISM
5. EFFECTIVE POLITICS

The issue of Heartbeat Bills came up again during some candidate forums and candidates are now posturing over who is more “pro-life,” and who is more “effectively pro-life.”

Before we comment on the candidates and their posturing, let’s take a look at the bill that is currently being used as a measurement of a candidate’s “pro-life” sincerity and effectiveness.

House Bill 302, “An Act prohibiting abortion after detection of fetal cardiac activity or fetal heart contractions” was introduced by a strange mix of 19 House Republicans that included: 

  • Seven legislators who opposed even allowing the Life At Conception Act a committee hearing less than a month prior (Merrick, Stutes, Thompson, LeBon, Kopp, Gillis, Shaw).
  • Five, who are openly Pro-CHOICE (LeBon, Thompson, Stutes, LeDoux, and Sullivan-Leonard)
  • Four, whose Alaska Right to Life endorsements were revoked for violating their pledges in 2016 and 2018 (Rauscher, Tilton, Kopp, Johnson)
  • Five who introduced or supported Pro-CHOICE legislation in the past (Tilton, Sullivan-Leonard, Rauscher, Kopp, LeDoux)
  • Five, who couldn’t be counted on for a vote because they missed a collective 752 votes between the five of them (Neuman (287), Rasmussen (165), Jackson (115), Rauscher (113), and LeDoux (72)).
  • The “Final Four” include Vance (the prime sponsor), TalericoCarpenter, and Prax)
Please ponder this thought as we review the bill:  how would you judge the merits of this bill based exclusively on who signed onto it? 
  • Of the 19 who signed onto this bill:
  • Four lost their Pro-Life endorsements in 2018
  • Five have introduced or supported Pro-CHOICE legislation in the past
  • Five are openly Pro-CHOICE.
  • Seven voted to prevent the Life At Conception Act from even being debated.

Before you judge the merits of the bill based on its sponsors, let’s consider what makes a bill “Effectively Pro-Life.”  Today we will consider some points of what’s needed to be Effectively Prepared, and in this series, we will explore the other components of “Effectively Pro-Life” legislation, including:

1. EFFECTIVELY PREPARED
2. EFFECTIVELY PRINCIPLED
3. EFFECTIVE POLICIES
4. EFFECTIVE PRAGMATISM
5. EFFECTIVE POLITICS

INEFFECTIVELY PREPARED
 
Alaska’s Heartbeat bill, HB 302, was introduced February 24, 2020, the last day bills could be introduced in the 31st Legislature.
 
It is a very SHORT bill.  The bill contains just 12 lines of text across just two pages.  Other Heartbeat bills range from nine to 25 pages.  While it’s true that economy of words is often a good thing, including key components of a bill is critical to effectively preparing legislation to be debated and signed into law.
 
 
LACKING  KEY  COMPONENTS
 
It lacks enforcement.  Were the bill passed, it would lack any enforcement language.  If the abortionists don’t want to comply with the law’s limitations, they don’t have to: the law has no mechanism for enforcement.
 
It LACKS penalties.  Without enforcement and penalties, laws become recommendations.  We’ve been recommending to abortionists that they stop killing babies for over 50 years – only when there’s a way to enforce the law and provide penalties equal to the crime of killing babies do you have even a hint of a complete bill.

 
 
LACKING  RESEARCH  &  FACTS
 
It LACKS research and facts.  The bill states, “a person may not knowingly perform an abortion after a health care provider detects a fetal heartbeat…” 

This may seem like splitting hairs, but “health care providers” don’t have anything to do with detecting fetal heartbeats at Planned Parenthood.

1.  The last thing Planned Parenthood wants to find is a heartbeat.  The wrongly bill assumes they are even looking for the baby’s heartbeat when an ultrasound is performed before killing the baby.
 
2.  If the bill doesn’t regulate how the heartbeat will be found and by whom, including their certifications, licenses, and registrations, then anybody can perform the ultrasound for any purpose other than those regulated by health codes and Alaska Statute 08. 
 
3.  If the bill doesn’t regulate a specific kind of equipment and in specific manner, covering specific parts of the mother’s abdomen and scanning specific parts of the baby’s body, then there’s no reason to believe the heartbeat is detectable by the ultrasound machine, nor that the technician will actually search for the baby’s heart.
 
4.  What about enforcement?  Have the men and women who are so morally compromised that they kill babies for profit will somehow develop the ethical standards that would compel compliance?   
 
Finally, this section of the bill concludes with, “unless the abortion is medically necessary.”
 
Before we address the “medical necessity” component of this bill, we’ve got to remember that killing babies before they are born is never medically necessary.
 
 
LACKING  KEY  COMPONENTS
 
It lacks enforcement.  Were the bill passed, it would lack any enforcement language.  If the abortionists don’t want to comply with the law’s limitations, they don’t have to: the law has no mechanism for enforcement.
 
It LACKS penalties.  Without enforcement and penalties, laws become recommendations.  We’ve been recommending to abortionists that they stop killing babies for over 50 years – only when there’s a way to enforce the law and provide penalties equal to the crime of killing babies do you have even a hint of a complete bill.

 
 
COMPLIES  WITH  DOE  WHILE  IT  CHALLENGES  ROE
 
This is an important distinction:  heartbeat bills provide a direct challenge to a component of Roe v Wade, specifically state regulation of abortion in the first trimester.

At the same time, heartbeat bills comply with Doe v Bolton, Roe’s companion case from Georgia that was decided with Roe v Wade.  They’re so closely linked that Roe v Wade requires Doe to be enforced whenever Roe is considered.  Put simply:
INEFFECTIVELY PREPARED
 
Alaska’s Heartbeat bill, HB 302, was introduced February 24, 2020, the last day bills could be introduced in the 31st Legislature.
 
It is a very SHORT bill.  The bill contains just 12 lines of text across just two pages.  Other Heartbeat bills range from nine to 25 pages.  While it’s true that economy of words is often a good thing, including key components of a bill is critical to effectively preparing legislation to be debated and signed into law.
 
 
LACKING  KEY  COMPONENTS
 
It lacks enforcement.  Were the bill passed, it would lack any enforcement language.  If the abortionists don’t want to comply with the law’s limitations, they don’t have to: the law has no mechanism for enforcement.
 
It LACKS penalties.  Without enforcement and penalties, laws become recommendations.  We’ve been recommending to abortionists that they stop killing babies for over 50 years – only when there’s a way to enforce the law and provide penalties equal to the crime of killing babies do you have even a hint of a complete bill.

 
 
LACKING  RESEARCH  &  FACTS
 
It LACKS research and facts.  The bill states, “a person may not knowingly perform an abortion after a health care provider detects a fetal heartbeat…” 

This may seem like splitting hairs, but “health care providers” don’t have anything to do with detecting fetal heartbeats at Planned Parenthood.

1.  The last thing Planned Parenthood wants to find is a heartbeat.  The wrongly bill assumes they are even looking for the baby’s heartbeat when an ultrasound is performed before killing the baby.
 
2.  If the bill doesn’t regulate how the heartbeat will be found and by whom, including their certifications, licenses, and registrations, then anybody can perform the ultrasound for any purpose other than those regulated by health codes and Alaska Statute 08. 
 
3.  If the bill doesn’t regulate a specific kind of equipment and in specific manner, covering specific parts of the mother’s abdomen and scanning specific parts of the baby’s body, then there’s no reason to believe the heartbeat is detectable by the ultrasound machine, nor that the technician will actually search for the baby’s heart.
 
4.  What about enforcement?  Have the men and women who are so morally compromised that they kill babies for profit will somehow develop the ethical standards that would compel compliance?   
 
Finally, this section of the bill concludes with, “unless the abortion is medically necessary.”
 
Before we address the “medical necessity” component of this bill, we’ve got to remember that killing babies before they are born is never medically necessary.
 
 
LACKING  KEY  COMPONENTS
 
It lacks enforcement.  Were the bill passed, it would lack any enforcement language.  If the abortionists don’t want to comply with the law’s limitations, they don’t have to: the law has no mechanism for enforcement.
 
It LACKS penalties.  Without enforcement and penalties, laws become recommendations.  We’ve been recommending to abortionists that they stop killing babies for over 50 years – only when there’s a way to enforce the law and provide penalties equal to the crime of killing babies do you have even a hint of a complete bill.

 
 
COMPLIES  WITH  DOE  WHILE  IT  CHALLENGES  ROE
 
This is an important distinction:  heartbeat bills provide a direct challenge to a component of Roe v Wade, specifically state regulation of abortion in the first trimester.

At the same time, heartbeat bills comply with Doe v Bolton, Roe’s companion case from Georgia that was decided with Roe v Wade.  They’re so closely linked that Roe v Wade requires Doe to be enforced whenever Roe is considered.  Put simply:

Regarding this component of “medically necessary abortions,” this portion of the bill simply copies what’s included in many other bills without any real research or examination of the facts.

The “medical necessity comes from Doe v Bolton, where the mother’s health is placed as the paramount concern, and her health is to be determined – AND DEFINED – by the abortionist. 

That means if the abortionist determines that a 14 year-old girl’s relationship with the boy who got her pregnant is important enough, then continuing the pregnancy affects their “relationship”; he has “medical justification” for killing her baby.

With this understanding in mind, it’s easy to see that the heartbeat bill:
 
  • Fails to recognize that on both federal and state levels, the only person with the authority to determine “medical necessity” is the abortionist himself. 
  • Fails to recognize that when making $500 for 5 minutes of work, abortionists will declare every abortion to be medically necessary.  For example:
Of the 1,270 babies that were killed in 2019, 571 of those babies’ deaths were paid for by the State of Alaska.  The only criteria the abortionist had to meet in order to submit the abortion invoice for payment are:
 
  1. The mother must be a Medicaid recipient
  2. The abortionist must check a box indicating the abortion was medically necessary.
 
Think about that: if nearly half of the babies’ deaths in Alaska’s abortion facilities were due to some serious medical condition their mothers are suffering, why haven’t we heard about the epidemic of deadly pregnancies that plague one out of four Alaskan pregnancies?
 
 
Regarding this component of “medically necessary abortions,” this portion of the bill simply copies what’s included in many other bills without any real research or examination of the facts.

The “medical necessity comes from Doe v Bolton, where the mother’s health is placed as the paramount concern, and her health is to be determined – AND DEFINED – by the abortionist. 

That means if the abortionist determines that a 14 year-old girl’s relationship with the boy who got her pregnant is important enough, then continuing the pregnancy affects their “relationship”; he has “medical justification” for killing her baby.

With this understanding in mind, it’s easy to see that the heartbeat bill:
 
  • Fails to recognize that on both federal and state levels, the only person with the authority to determine “medical necessity” is the abortionist himself. 
  • Fails to recognize that when making $500 for 5 minutes of work, abortionists will declare every abortion to be medically necessary.  For example:
Of the 1,270 babies that were killed in 2019, 571 of those babies’ deaths were paid for by the State of Alaska.  The only criteria the abortionist had to meet in order to submit the abortion invoice for payment are:
 
  1. The mother must be a Medicaid recipient
  2. The abortionist must check a box indicating the abortion was medically necessary.
 
Think about that: if nearly half of the babies’ deaths in Alaska’s abortion facilities were due to some serious medical condition their mothers are suffering, why haven’t we heard about the epidemic of deadly pregnancies that plague one out of four Alaskan pregnancies?
 
 

So far we’ve taken a quick look at how INNEFECTIVELY PREPARED this heartbeat bill is to confront Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood’s Harvard trained lawyers.  In a few short minutes, we’ve poked serious holes in this bill and this with neither Harvard nor legal training (unless you’re a lawyer or attended Harvard).
 
So what does this say about the motley crew of legislators that put this bill together and offered it at the last opportunity during an election year?
 
I know, some will cry foul – I called a group of Pro-CHOICE legislators a “motley crew.”  But what else do you call a bunch of Pro-CHOICE legislators who sign on to a “pro-life” bill?
 
Now that you’ve had a chance to consider how INNEFECTIVELY PREPARED this bill is, check in later this week to see how EFFECTIVELY PRINCIPLED this heartbeat bill is and how it reflects on the legislators who signed on to it.
 
Until then, let’s keep THE MAIN THING… THE MAIN THING!

So far we’ve taken a quick look at how INNEFECTIVELY PREPARED this heartbeat bill is to confront Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood’s Harvard trained lawyers.  In a few short minutes, we’ve poked serious holes in this bill and this with neither Harvard nor legal training (unless you’re a lawyer or attended Harvard).
 
So what does this say about the motley crew of legislators that put this bill together and offered it at the last opportunity during an election year?
 
I know, some will cry foul – I called a group of Pro-CHOICE legislators a “motley crew.”  But what else do you call a bunch of Pro-CHOICE legislators who sign on to a “pro-life” bill?
 
Now that you’ve had a chance to consider how INNEFECTIVELY PREPARED this bill is, check in later this week to see how EFFECTIVELY PRINCIPLED this heartbeat bill is and how it reflects on the legislators who signed on to it.
 
Until then, let’s keep THE MAIN THING… THE MAIN THING!