A Bill which would protect unborn babies from the time their hearts begin to beat is being considered in Ohio, USA.
More than half of the 99 politicians in the state’s House of Representatives have sponsored the Bill, but it is unclear whether the move will also get backing from Ohio’s Senate and Governor.
A US pro-life group said, as it backed the plan: “Where there is a heartbeat there is life”.
House Bill 69 would ban abortions once the unborn child’s heartbeat is detected – which can be at around six weeks into the pregnancy.
Similar legislation has been considered by the state in recent years, but has not yet been successful.
A pro-abortion group in Ohio criticised the Bill, saying politicians do not understand women’s specific situations.
However, Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, said: “While every baby deserves protection from earliest spark of life in conception, Ohio’s heartbeat bill is a huge step towards that goal.”
Faith guides vote
Meanwhile, in South Carolina and West Virginia, Bills that stop abortions after 19 and 20 weeks respectively have received backing.
In West Virginia the Bill passed by 87 votes to 12, while the margin was 80 to 27 in South Carolina.
The West Virginian vote saw a number of politicians quoting from the Bible, with one saying her faith would guide her vote. It will now go to the state’s Senate for consideration.
In contrast to these latest Bills, the President of the USA’s largest abortion provider last year claimed that life begins at delivery.
Cecile Richards, who heads Planned Parenthood, made the comments in a US TV interview, after repeated attempts to avoid giving an answer.
She said that for her children “life began when I delivered them”.