Both the State Senate and House have passed legislation that prohibits the abortion of an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat. Gov. Phil Bryant is standing ready to sign the bill into law once lingering differences have been settled.

This bill comes in the wake of the recent and shocking New York legislation, along with similar legislation concerning late term and post birth abortion.

If the heartbeat bill becomes law, the only way to obtain an abortion after the heartbeat is detected would be when medical emergencies, the life of the mother or loss of major bodily function, necessitate. The bill also stipulates that the Mississippi State Board of Health is to regulate the appropriate methods for performing an examination to detect the fetal heartbeat.

Furthermore, any physician who does perform an abortion procedure without first detecting a fetal heartbeat will be subject to license revocation or disciplinary action. The ramifications of this bill are far reaching on both sides of the debate.

Bryant, a fervent defender of life, has stated that an unborn child is a human being and he/she have rights bestowed upon them. When questioned about the recent legislation in New York, along with other states, he commented that he hopes that these blatant attempts to grow a culture of death will shock people into realizing just how horrific this movement has become and motivate action. It appears that this just might be true.

The states of Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee are also attempting to pass versions of a heartbeat bill and enforce stricter abortion laws.

Naturally, abortion proponents will do all they can to stop this.

This is not simply a political debate; it is a deeply personal one. Pregnancy centers around the nation, including the Center for Pregnancy Choices in Jackson, witness the powerful testimonies of women choosing life after hearing or seeing their baby’s heartbeat. As someone who has personally heard the accounts of such women, I can attest that it is a tender and life-altering moment.

“We see lives changed when women are able to connect with their baby through sonogram images, Erin Kate Goode, the executive director of CPC, stated. The CPC has seen this truth reflected in so many of its client’s journeys.

One expectant mother who visited CPC said, “Once I got my free sonogram, I fell in love with my baby, and I knew right away I wanted to keep her.”

“I saw my little bitty baby,” another former patient said, “I saw its heartbeat. I did my nervous laugh, attempting to hold back my tears, as I watched my tiny baby jump and dance around. That’s when I knew that I was going to do this, whatever it took.”

While the debate is considered from every angle, the same truth emerges; an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat is a life.

The heartbeat bill only reinforces what medical science has known all along, a heartbeat is not only an indication of a viable pregnancy, it is intrinsically bonded with life. It is with hope that we witness life beginning to win and it is with pride that we know Mississippi is a pioneer of the movement to value every heartbeat.