Pro-life and pro-choice advocates debate fetal heartbeat bill

Pro-life and pro-choice advocates debate fetal heartbeat bill

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Pastor Tony Foster said when mother graduated from high school at 17, she was carrying him.

“I’m thanking God every day that she didn’t take into consideration to abort me. My mom became a born-again Christian,” he said. Pastor Foster supports the fetal heartbeat bill which would prohibit abortions if a heartbeat can be detected through an ultrasound.

This usually happens about six weeks into a pregnancy. “This is a life and it should have constitutional rights, right now it does not, but my prayer is that we protect the babies in the womb,” Foster said.

Pastor Foster testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee Thursday morning. He said he would like to see the Personhood Act signed into law, but he also supports H.3020.

Dr. Deborah Billings also has a personal connection to this issue that divides so many people. “I do take it personally because I am a woman,” said the adjunct professor of public health, “I have had an abortion and I’ve had a miscarriage. This kind of law would have effectively criminalized me.”

The bill does make exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk. Dr. Billings said this type of legislation would put women at risk. “This will not stop women from having abortions. What this will do is lead women to find alternatives means and some of those means are unsafe.”

Critics of the bill said if this were to pass, the state would be spending money to fight a losing battle to defend a law that wouldn’t be allowed to take into effect because of federal court rulings.

Dr. Billings said she would prefer to see the money go towards education and contraceptives. “It would be better if lawmakers were investing in legislation that our children get medically accurate sex education.”

Pastor Foster and others who support the bill said you can’t put a price on protecting the unborn. “Whatever we can do to protect a baby, even with the legal fees, it comes down to this is a life.”

The subcommittee says they will be holding another hearing on this legislation in the near future.

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