The Senate yesterday held a hearing on Senate Bill 923, a crucial piece of pro-life legislation that Wisconsin Family Action is excited to support. Read our testimony HERE. (We do have one issue with this bill—an unnecessary exception. See our testimony to read more about that.)
The Wisconsin Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detected and ultimately aims to highlight the humanity of every child in the womb. The heartbeat can usually be detected at around six weeks gestation.
This bill is much like the Heartbeat Bill that recently became law in Texas. Our bill contains the same provision as the Texas law that allows ordinary citizens to sue the provider if they have proof that the provider has violated the heartbeat law.
Wisconsin currently has four free-standing abortion facilities; two in Milwaukee, one in Madison and a new facility in Sheboygan. These providers are subject to an ultrasound law, which requires abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound of their baby before they perform an abortion. We also have a 20-week abortion ban in place.
While these are great starts, it’s vital that we respect and protect life as early as possible, which means at least banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected. It’s abundantly clear that an unborn child with a heartbeat is fully human (and we believe this is true from the moment of conception).
Texas Right to Life estimates that between 10,000 and 13,000 preborn human babies have been saved since the heartbeat law went into effect on September 1, 2021. They estimate the law is saving at least 100 lives every day.
CNBC reported that Texas’ heartbeat bill has effectively stopped most abortions in the state by empowering citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after a heartbeat is detected for at least $10,000. This is a monumental achievement for the pro-life movement in Texas that we now have the opportunity to accomplish in Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, Texas’ ban has faced many legal challenges. It’s currently the matter of at least one lawsuit. The US Supreme Court ruled in December to allow a federal lawsuit by abortion providers against Texas’ heartbeat bill to proceed. Thankfully, the bill has remained in effect while its constitutionality is being challenged.
If Senate Bill 923 is passed, we expect to face similar legal challenges. However, saving just one life would be worth it; and we know that this bill can save thousands.
We are also hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, which would certainly help mitigate any legal challenges we may face in implementing this life-saving law. And actually, if Roe is overturned, then this bill is unnecessary.
The heartbeat is universally accepted as an indicator of life, yet we don’t apply this principle to the unborn. It’s time to change that.
Please contact your state senator and state representative (put your address in the search area at the top right) and urge them to support Senate Bill 923. Please also pray for the success of this bill and for our state and nation to finally recognize the humanity of the unborn.