Yesterday, Ohio's "heartbeat bill" had it's first hearing before the State Senate and it was markedly restrained compared to debates in the House earlier this year — mostly because there were no live ultrasounds of pregnant women or testimony from fetuses.
Though, one of the witnesses who went before the House did make an appearance, and this time things went much more smoothly because she's had some time to develop limbs and a face. When human carrier Erin Glockner transported her nine-week-old fetus to the legislature in March, its heartbeat was "only faintly audible and far from distinct." According to the Ohio News Network, Hallie was still pretty silent during this latest hearing, though her mere presence did prove that pulsating booger-like blobs do grow into humans eventually.
Several other anti-abortion activists made compelling points in favor of the bill, which would make abortion illegal at the first detectable heartbeat, possibly as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The Associated Press reports that State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, who sponsored the bill, pointed out that we check the heartbeat of medical patients, so "Why, then, should we ignore this critical indicator of life when it comes to the very young?" Maybe because Roe v. Wade established a viability standard, and even if a fetus has a heart, without a variety of other organs it isn't going to last long outside the womb.
However, as Jack Willke, who founded Ohio Right to Life and the International Right to Life Federation, explained the heart isn't just any old organ:
"This has scared the wits out of pro-abortion organizers ... There is something almost magical about a heartbeat."
Say no more! Why base your laws on scientific facts, when you can make rules based on which developmental processes feel the most magical?
As usual, there were some naysayers who argue the state shouldn't be focusing on trying to pass legislation that everyone knows is unconstitutional. Bill Graber, a part-time construction worker struggling to find work, said he's "had enough" and doesn't want to see Ohio spend money it doesn't have on defending the bill when the unemployment rate is 9% in the state. Clearly, this is ridiculous. Who cares about what happens to people with fully-developed circulatory systems when there are bean-sized blobs to save?