MADISON, WI (OnFocus) – On Tuesday, Representative Donna Rozar (R-Marshfield) along with Senator Julian Bradley (R- Franklin) authored and introduced a bill that would prevent expecting mothers from getting an abortion if the baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
Senate Bill 923 was presented to the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection on Tuesday. The bill would prohibit any medical professional from performing or inducing an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected. In most pregnancies, a heartbeat is detectable around six weeks from conception.
The bill makes an exception for expecting mothers who are experiencing a medical emergency. Texas lawmakers recently passed a similar bill that drew national media and activist attention.
The bill lays out consequences for those looking to perform abortions after a detectable heartbeat has been found.
“The bill prohibits any person from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a woman if a fetal heartbeat is detected except when a medical emergency exists,” the bill reads. “Under the bill, an allegation that a physician violated either prohibition in the bill is considered an allegation of unprofessional conduct, and the Medical Examining Board is required to investigate allegations of unprofessional conduct.”
The full bill can be read here.
According to the bill, family members including mothers of the unborn baby, fathers of the baby, grandparents or other family members within the 3rd degree kinship would be able to file a claim for physical, emotional or psychological damages against the performing physician for $10,000 or more per abortion performed.
Rozar referenced her tenure as a cardiac nurse when voicing her support of the bill.
“How appropriate that this Bill is being considered during February, American Heart Month,” Rozar said. “As a medical/surgical cardiac nurse for almost 20 years, a large percentage of my job required the evaluation of the rhythm, rate, strength, and presence of a heartbeat.
“The procedure after an unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate a patient when a heartbeat was no longer detected, was that the physician leading the medical emergency stated to those in the room, ‘Being unable to detect a heartbeat, does anyone have any objections if this attempt to resuscitate the patient is discontinued?’ If no objections were voiced, the resuscitation efforts stopped.
“The heartbeat is the medical measurement of life. It was always a solemn moment in the room as we all reflected on our attempts to resuscitate the individual who now had been pronounced dead. Life was no longer present as evidenced by the heartbeat no longer being detected.”
Representative Shelby Slawson of Texas was one of the authors of the Texas Heartbeat Bill and came to testify in favor of SB 923.
Rozar went on to say that a life begins and ends with a heartbeat.
“If life ends when the heart stops beating, life should begin when the heart starts beating,” Rozar said. “A detectable heartbeat of the baby in utero is a sign that life exists. Every heart matters and abortion stops a beating heart.”
Rozar stated that unborn babies are more likely than ever to survive and lead productive lives even after a premature birth.
“Fetal medicine is an emerging field,” Rozar said. “Babies with abnormalities and illnesses are being treated in utero using a fetoscope. Babies born at 22, and even 20 weeks gestation are being treated in neonatal intensive care units and survive to lead full, productive lives. The science has changed significantly since 1973 and we are treating unborn babies as human beings, independent of their mothers. Let’s follow the science and recognize the unborn baby for the person he/she is.”
SB 923 awaits an executive session in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection.
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