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Added to the list of offenses for the war on women is a new bill that has just been introduced to Congress that would call for a total abortion ban. Iowa Republican Representative Steve King went to Congress on Thursday with a bill that would effectively ban abortion on the federal level. The bill, named H.R. 490, echoes the legislation of Ohio’s “heartbeat bill, which was struck down by Gov. John Kasich (R). H.R. 490 states that abortions are to be outlawed as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected — in some cases, that can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women even know they’re pregnant — and that all doctors who perform abortions without checking for a heartbeat or notifying the patient that there is a heartbeat will be prosecuted. The punishment for doctor’s found guilty ranges from monetary fines to up to five years in prison. The women who receive the procedures would not be prosecuted.

King constructed the bill with the help of pro-lifer and Christian fanatic Janet Porter. Porter was the architect behind the Ohio’s original and failed “heartbeat bill” and currently sits as president of her "pro-family" group Faith2Action, which claims on its website: “Our goal isn’t to just survive the cultural war, but to win it.” Save your chills and dismay for King's comment because it gets better. In a press release, King said, “Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government.” 

steve kingSteve King, via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The introduction of such a radical bill reminds us of the ripple effects it can have on women’s healthcare and the harsh realities that many in this country are already facing. According to a Bustlearticle from last year, abortion clinics and providers are dwindling in this country, “more bills aimed at restricting abortion were passed between 2011 and 2013 than were passed in the entire previous decade,” meaning that while abortions are still legal, they are harder to obtain. If the past has shown us anything it’s that this won’t stop abortions from happening but rather make unsafe self-induced abortions more popular.

We can hope and wish that we aren’t headed back to that dark time, but a more effective way of taking action is to call your Representative’s office today and voice your opposition.

Top photo: NOW rally, 1970s

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