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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Heartbeat Protection Act, 2017; H.R. 490 is Good and Bad

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Congressman Steve King introduced last January H.R. 490, the "Heartbeat Protection Act."  If put into law, the act would prohibit abortions on unborn children if a heartbeat is detected. Of late, the discussion regarding the bill has been increasing, as it works its way through committees.  As a person who believes that personhood begins at conception, while this is not completely what I would hope for, it would be a step in the right direction.

That said, while the moral end of it has me leaping for joy, the legal angle is a wholly different ballgame.

States in the past have tried similar laws, and the federal courts unconstitutionally struck down the State laws placing limits on abortion.  In some States there have even been "personhood" bills which essentially would have outlawed abortions completely in their States by using the 14th Amendment's protection for persons against a loss of life, liberty or property without due process by granting to all unborn children, regardless of their location in the cycle of development, the label of personhood.  The State laws would have been perfectly legal and constitutional, for abortion is a State issue.  The federal courts have no legal jurisdiction to rule on State laws on State issues.

The U.S. Constitution does not expressly enumerate abortion, or any medical procedure whatsoever, as being within the scope of powers authorized to the federal government.  Therefore, federal courts have no authority to rule on those issues.  However, with that being the case, that also means the federal legislature has no authority to pass laws on the issue of abortion.

As a pro-life advocate who is the secretary on the board of directors of a pro-life pregnancy center, I applaud Congressman King's attempt to fight the massacre of the unborn.  The sacrifice of innocent blood in the name of choice and convenience is no different than the sacrifice of babies to some pagan god.  The practice is barbaric and unacceptable.  The very fact that we even have to have this conversation in the first place saddens me.

That said, if we want to follow the U.S. Constitution, while King's "Heartbeat Protection Act" is a wonderful thing on the surface, Congress has no constitutional authority to propose the bill.  The legal way to approach the issue is as follows:

1)  Remove all federal influence on the abortion industry, including the elimination of all funding to organizations that performs abortions, like Planned Parenthood.

2)  Remove all judges from the court system who have ruled against State laws on abortion on the grounds of bad behavior (Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution).  Congress has the authority to remove them.

3)  Present a proclamation to all States that abortion is a State issue, and there will be no federal influence.  A proclamation is an executive order that, while not legally binding, would send a message of the federal government withdrawing from the issue.

4)  If we wish to make federal withdrawal permanent, Congress could propose an amendment to the Constitution either doubling down on the concept that abortion is none of the federal government's business, or outlawing abortion countrywide, which would go into effect once three-quarters of the States ratified it.  If the latter takes place, then all anti-life laws in all States would automatically become null and void.

Then comes the inevitable question: "If abortions are illegal, do you believe that the woman should be thrown in jail?"

No.  The doctor should be, for performing the unlawful action.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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