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Congressman Introduces Federal 'Heartbeat Bill'

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced two pieces of pro-life legislation this week in the House of Representatives. (Reuters photo)

Thursday, U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a bill aimed at all but ending abortion in the United States entirely.

The Heartbeat Bill would require physicians to attempt to detect a heartbeat before performing an abortion and would further prohibit the abortion of any baby with a beating heart. Declaring that Roe v. Wade was "unconstitutionally decided" in 1973—resulting in the deaths of nearly 60 million babies with the "rubber stamp" of the federal government—he said human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is sacred in all its forms.

"Today, I introduced a bill that will protect the lives of voiceless innocents," he said. "America was founded on the concept that our rights come from God. All human persons have a right to life. How then could we confer that those rights allow the killing of a baby?"

The legislation is nearly identical to one approved by Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives that was eventually vetoed by Gov. John Kasich. He instead approved a 20-week cutoff to all abortions, which was supported by Ohio Right to Life, angering other pro-life advocates.

King's bill does not yet have co-sponsors, which may be a steep hurdle in his effort to get the legislation passed. But, he's pledged to keep on fighting for the bill until it becomes law: "I believe our most important responsibility that God has bestowed upon us is to protect innocent human life, and I will continue to dedicate my life to that responsibility."

This isn't the only piece of pro-life legislation the Iowa congressman has introduced this week. Another bill he's offered addresses life issues at the other end of the age spectrum, going after government funding of "end-of-life counseling," a provision that was met with enormous outcry in 2009 when it was initially offered as part of the Affordable Care Act. He said:

A year ago this month, the government increased control over one of the most highly personal healthcare decisions an individual can make when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began paying doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care. Allowing the federal government to marry its need to save dollars with the promotion of end-of-life counseling is not in the interest of millions of Americans who were promised life-sustaining care in their older years in exchange for their compelled funding of the program during their working years.

Furthermore, this exact provision was removed from the final draft of Obamacare in 2009 as a direct result of public outcry. The worldview behind the policy has not changed since then, and government control over this intimate choice is still intolerable to those who respect the dignity of human life.

My legislation prohibits Medicare payments for end-of-life counseling, blocking this harmful regulation before our government imposes yet another life-devaluing policy on the American people.

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