Fetal Heartbeat bill heads to house vote in Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-The heartbeat of an unborn baby was heard by a room full of Kentucky lawmakers before they voted to pass a bill that would ban most abortions in the state.

The fetal heartbeat measure passed state senate 31-6 on February 14 .It will now need to pass the house vote and Governor Matt Bevin’s signature, in order to be made law.

The measure would ban an abortion if a fetal heart beat is detected. Dr. Brian Macy at Western Kentucky Health Services says a baby’s first heart beat happens in:

“The first trimester can be somewhat tricky for women because they may not have many symptoms to go along with it. Or it could be the very opposite, they could have many symptoms. I’ve seen cases where women don’t know that their pregnant until many months into their pregnancy,”said Macy.

The measure would provide narrow exceptions for abortions, such as when the mother’s life is in danger.

“Whenever we can hear a heartbeat that’s a good sign that the pregnancy is viable, however miscarriages are tremendously common, and they are much more common in the first trimester, then others,” said Macy.

And when a baby dies in the womb, it must be aborted for the health of the woman.

Abortion opponents are pushing the fetal heartbeat measure to challenge the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion in 1973.

“Around the 3rd to 4th week the heart begins to beat. It’s not a fully formed heart like we would think of as an adult, but the heart begins to beat it begins to push blood. We really can’t detect that sound well with office instruments,” said Macy

Opponents of the measure argue that no one is exactly sure when the earliest point is at which a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected.

“The vast majority of pregnancies we can detect the first heartbeat around the 8-10-week mark in the office. The first heartbeat actually occurs well before then, but it can be difficult and challenging to detect it earlier,” said Macy.

Kentucky is among several states where lawmakers are considering similar bills. Fetal heartbeat bills have been filed in both Texas and Tennessee this year.