The Arkansas state Senate passed the Human Heartbeat Protection Act in a 28 to 6 decision Thursday. This act would require women who are seeking to terminate their pregnancies to undergo a vaginal ultrasound, reported Reuters. If the probe is able to detect a fetal heartbeat, the woman would not be allowed to undergo an abortion on the grounds that a fetus with a heartbeat is a human being.
The act would prohibit most abortions in the state, but exceptions would be made for cases of rape and incest. A heartbeat can be detected at six weeks and many women do not know they are pregnant at this point.
"Can you imagine what kind of feeling that would cause when inserted into a woman?" Sen. Stephanie Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) told the Associated Press, speaking of the transvaginal ultrasound.
In recent years, a number of "fetal heartbeat" bills have been proposed across the country with varying levels of success. A similar bill was recently voted down in Wyoming. In November 2012, Ohio passed a fetal heartbeat bill in the state House but it expired in the state Senate. In Oklahoma, a bill passed that requires doctors to ask a woman if she’d like to hear the heartbeat of the fetus prior to an abortion.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .