What if unborn babies could testify before a legislature? Today they will.
The Health Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives will hear expert testimony for H.B. 125, the Heartbeat Bill, from the youngest to ever testify: a 9-week-old baby in the womb.
At least two in-utero babies will appear live before the committee by an ultrasound projector where legislators will see and hear their beating hearts. When passed, the Heartbeat Bill will insure that once that heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.
Last Thursday, the Heartbeat Bill was introduce before the 99-member House of Representatives with 50 co-sponsors – that's more than half of the House! This majority felt so strongly about protecting babies with beating hearts that they put their names on the Heartbeat Bill.
National Right to Life founder Dr. Jack Willke added his strong support of the bill in a letter he wrote to the legislature stating: "While I'm for protecting all unborn babies, this bill is a giant step toward our goal since it will protect at least 95 percent of all babies in Ohio who would otherwise be aborted."
Dr. Willke is also president of International Right to Life, founder and president of Life Issues Institute and the national delegate on the board of Ohio Right to Life. Willke also told the legislators:
While I used to believe there was a danger of reaffirming Roe v. Wade by passing such a protective bill, after 38 years of abortion on demand, I no longer believe that would be the result. Whether Roe is affirmed or not, the results are the same: Unborn babies are killed for any reason virtually any time until their birth. We must not wait any longer to protect babies in our state.
We have seen Ohio lead before when we passed the nation's first partial-birth abortion ban in 1995. While it was struck down by the court initially, Congress and 30 states followed – and while the U.S. Supreme Court said no (to a Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban) in 2000, seven years later they finally upheld the … ban passed by Congress.
Ohio can see history repeat and lead the way. I strongly encourage you to lend your leadership and support to the Heartbeat Bill.
Dr. Willke's right about history repeating. Already, Georgia and Texas have secured a copy of Ohio's bill and are planning to introduce a version of it in their state legislatures. Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona are next in line.
The Health Committee will also hear today from Walter Weber, senior litigation counsel for the ACLJ in Washington, D.C., who received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his law degree from Yale Law School.
When Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, described Weber as "the most brilliant legal mind in the country on abortion litigation," I knew we needed him on the team of legal experts to help draft the Heartbeat Bill. Weber has written briefs in many landmark cases at the Supreme Court including NOW v. Scheidler, Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District and Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, but this legal expert is going to be out-shined by the youngest to ever testify before the Ohio General Assembly!
Lori Viars, director of Family First PAC, and vice president of Warren County Right to Life, spoke at the bill's press conference: "There is excitement across the heartland for Ohio's new Heartbeat Bill! It is invigorating our troops who can't wait to take this giant leap toward protecting unborn babies from abortion!"
Pro-life leaders like Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, Pat Banaszak of Tri-County Right to Life, Paula Westwood, executive director of Cincinnati Right to Life and law professor David Forte are lining up to testify for the bill in the coming weeks.
Linda Theis has been in the pro-life movement since the 1970s when Dr. Willke asked her to serve on the board of Ohio Right to Life. She became president of Ohio Right to Life following Dr. Willke and will be attending the hearings. Theis said at the press conference that she has "never been more hopeful."
Thank you to all those who went to www.HeartBeatBill.com to send the unmistakable message of support: red heart-shaped balloons! Thousands of red-heart balloons were delivered to the legislators on Valentine's Day to thank and encourage them with the message, "Have a heart, pass the Heartbeat Bill." They were sent by pro-lifers throughout Ohio and 35 states who want to help keep Ohio hearts beating. You can see pictures, clips of the press conference and the "99 Red Heart Balloons" music video, as well as send your heart balloons to the committee before they vote at: www.HeartBeatBill.com.
At the press conference where a dozen legislators spoke, prime sponsor Rep. Lynn Wachtmann stated: "After all, Ohio is the 'Heart of it all,' so it's only fitting that we protect our fellow human beings with beating hearts."
Wachtmann is chairman of the House Health Committee where the bill will have its first hearing this morning at 9 a.m. in House Hearing Room 116. Intercessors are welcome. Please pray the babies' beating hearts will move the hearts of committee members who'll be voting on the Heartbeat Bill – our best chance to protect the most babies.