Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hearing scheduled on bill prohibiting abortion if fetal heartbeat detectable

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

A House committee has scheduled a public hearing for a bill that would prohibit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

The hearing has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

House Bill 2324 has 32 sponsors.

The proposal has been pushed for years by anti-abortion activist Mark Gietzen.

Gietzen has said the bill would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as seven weeks.

Abortion rights supporters said if the bill became law it would be the most extreme abortion restriction in the United States and trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Elise Higgins, lobbyist and state co-coordinator for Kansas NOW, said, "Not only is House Bill 2324 clearly a way for Kansas legislators to challenge Roe on the taxpayer dime, notice of the hearing was given less than 24 hours in advance to the general public. We condemn this underhanded approach to legislation unprecedented in its extremity, and are committee to fighting it every step of the way."