It was probably only a matter of time before Mississippi got on board with the newest GOP trend. A fetal heartbeat bill introduced earlier this month contains almost identical language to a similar measure put forth in Arkansas last year.
A person who intends to perform an abortion on a
pregnant woman shall determine if there is the presence of a fetal
heartbeat of the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman
is carrying according to standard medical practice. A person
shall comply with this paragraph (b) regardless of whether or not
the State Board of Health has promulgated rules under paragraph
(c) of this subsection (3).
(c) The State Board of Health may promulgate rules for
the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the
presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn human individual based
on standard medical practice.
As was mentioned in the earlier LGF article, “standard medical practice” means that, this early in a pregnancy (1st trimester) the only way to detect a fetal heartbeat is by transvaginal ultrasound.
Here’s the full text of the bill. I encourage you to read the whole thing, they use a number of questionable “facts” as rationale for this measure.
In summary, the bill opens by spouting statistics indicating that the majority of pregnancies in which a fetal heartbeat can be detected have a good chance of making it to term. Therefore, fetal heartbeat, according to the bill, is an excellent measure of the viability of a pregnancy.
There’s little more I can say on this that hasn’t been said already, but suffice to say I still find myself double checking my calendar to make sure it really is 2013.