Heartbeat Legislation Moves Forward In Arkansas

The state of Arkansas is on the move when it comes to defending the unborn and setting up the prospects for an eventual Supreme Court showdown that could drastically weaken or overturn Roe vs. Wade. The Arkansas state Senate has passed a bill that would protect human life at the point from which a heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound. If the bill passes the Arkansas House and is signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe, it would in practice protect society’s most innocent from the 12-week point forward.

Opponents have reacted predictably. They have denounced the bill on the grounds that detecting a heartbeat requires a vaginal probe. The same political movement perfectly willing to finance a “procedure” as invasive as abortion, suddenly expresses concern about invasiveness when it comes to detecting a heartbeat.

The state of Arkansas is moving forward on a law that would protect the unborn child once the heartbeat can be detected.

Could it be that opponents are really concerned that as more women realize that their “fetus” really has a live, beating heart, the public support for legalized abortion is going to decrease? Abortion means big money to Planned Parenthood and a lot of votes for left-wing candidates. Money and power have a way of turning people’s heads, but a real live beating heart can turn them right back.

The political intrigue at this point lies in what the governor will do if the bill reaches his desk. Beebe is a Democrat, although a southern Democrat without dreams of going national is reasonably likely to support pro-life legislation (to date, Beebe has no discernible record). Bill Clinton did until he put his eye on the White House. Beebe has also expressed concern though, about whether such a law would stand up before the Supreme Court.

Beebe’s concerns are not unreasonable and it’s the conundrum the pro-life movement faces. On the one hand, it’s a moral imperative to pass laws protecting the unborn and continually offer the Supreme Court chances to modify or reverse its horrific error of January 1973.

On the other hand, an individual state does have the financial responsibility for supporting the long litigation process. It’s here that the pro-life commitment of so many attorneys nationwide has proved invaluable, and they can be so again in this case. The people of Arkansas should not have to shoulder the financial burden alone and a clear demonstration of national pro-life legal support for the state would remove this as a concern/excuse for Beebe and make him sign or veto the law on its merits.

Last week, I noted in this space that the singer Beyonce, who performed at the Super Bowl, recalled her miscarriage and how she could hear the beating heart of her unborn child. Now the Arkansas state legislature is moving on a path to undergird that reality in law. The water-carriers of the abortion industry can shout and scream, all the want—in the end, nothing shouts louder than a child’s beating heart.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com



  • abadilla

    “The same political movement perfectly willing to finance a “procedure” as invasive as abortion, suddenly expresses concern about invasiveness when it comes to detecting a heartbeat.”
    Incredible hypocrisy, that’s all it is. I dream when protection for the unborn is once again enshrined in the law of the land. No one, and I mean no one, should ever suffer such a painful death as a fetus because Supreme Court Justices made a tremendous blunder on January 22, 1973.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Wise/1205779077 Brian Wise

    Really? Seriously? You’re comparing the abortion, which the woman wants to have and chooses to have, with a vaginal probe that the woman does NOT want and does NOT choose, and that her doctor says is not necessary? They may both be “invasive”, but one involves a woman exercising her constitutional right and the other involves forcing a woman against her will to have a vaginal probe that she does not want and that her doctor says is unnecessary. If you can “make your case” on this particular legislation, PLEASE do it in a way that doesn’t include an Absurd argument.

    • abadilla

      Really, seriously, you are defending the indefensible, abortion, in a Catholic forum? Unbelievable!

    • Maryellen Schroeder

      Does the Arkansas law actually say anything about a vaginal probe? Every woman who has ever been pregnant knows that a little wand ON YOUR BELLY can pick up a heart beat by this stage of pregnancy and even earlier In fact, it is the usual and routine method of doing so. I haven’t read the proposed Arkansas law, but I bet there are a lot of assumptions going on here about vaginal probes, especially by those who aren’t gifted with TWO X chromosomes, like the rest of us who know better. :-)

  • Paulspr

    This is directly in conflict with the findings of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, which laid out the restrictions that could be placed in abortion based on which trimester the fetus was in. I’d expect this law to never go into effect and to be stomped out by a district court. It won’t ever even make it to the Supreme Court.

    How many babies could be saved if our energy was actually focused on saving babies through existing legal channels?

    • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan

      What are you doing to save babies?

      • Paulspr

        I volunteer at a clinic as a counselor to help women choose adoption over abortion. I’ve actually saved a life. What do you do? How many lives have been saved by these laws that get struck down by the courts over and over? Not one.

        • Msgr. Charles M. Mangan

          J.M.J. I’ve done the same. Why don’t combine good works with the legislative approach? Life is precious. We need all the arrows in our bag.

        • abadilla

          Are you telling us in this forum you would not welcome the overturn of Roe vs Wade?

        • abadilla

          “I volunteer at a clinic as a counselor to help women choose adoption over abortion. I’ve actually saved a life.”
          This is by far the most wonderful news I have ever read from you. Wonderful, just wonderful, and one day when you meet our Maker, I hope He will take into consideration the life you saved.
          Think about it Paul, that child is walking around because you made that possible.

          • http://twitter.com/PhloontManphred Phloont Manphredsing

            Except that it’s a lie, as I have shown here before. Paul has never worked at any such place. People who are in favor of laws keeping abortion legal never have any interest in preventing abortions. This is why crisis pregnancy center are always staffed only by pro-lifers. Paul is not one of us. He is here to spread confusion and discord.

          • abadilla

            Are you telling me and others Paul openly lied to us? “People who are in favor of laws keeping abortion legal never have any interest in preventing abortions.” Is this your evidence or do you have hard proof he lied to us?

          • http://twitter.com/PhloontManphred Phloont Manphredsing

            Think of it this way: If I pounced on you and pounded your face with my fists for half an hour, all the while telling you that I was personally opposed to pounding you with my fists, would you believe me?

          • abadilla

            The comparison is unbelievable because the Church does no such thing to homosexuals, nor would I, nor would any decent human being, even if he or she did not have a religion.
            It is amazing that you would say such a thing when in the West a homosexual is free to be gay, period, and the Catholic Church herself does not reject a homosexual orientation.
            Perhaps you should look to the East, where in Middle Eastern countries they would do more than pouncing on homosexuals, they kill them for the simple reason they are gay, period.
            Do you not realize that in many of our hospitals and hospices gays are taken care of and no one cares whether they are gay or not, yet you come up with this “pouncing” business and expect not to offend Catholics who read you. The “pouncing” is in your mind not in our Church whose crime it is to be faithful to the Gospel it preaches. The Church is to be like her Master, a sign of contradiction, a counter-cultural force, and when taken seriously, there are boundaries one does not cross, but pouncing? Give me a break!

  • http://twitter.com/crucifixwearer Matthew Olson

    I live in Arkansas. I am very excited about this. It just might pass! :)

    • FatherTim

      It unfortunately will probably never go into effect. We should be working to eliminate abortion by supporting pregnant women and giving them opportunities to keep their children.

    • abadilla

      Let us pray it does.



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