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H.R. 490 – Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017

H.R. 490, the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017, would protect from abortion an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat. The measure would require an abortionist to determine if an unborn child has a heartbeat and inform the mother of the results of his determination.

If the abortionist performs an abortion without making a heartbeat determination or without informing the mother of his determination he may be fined or imprisoned for up to five years. The abortionist is excused from the bill’s requirements if the abortion "is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions."


The complete text of the Heartbeat Protection Act may be found at


H.R. 490 was introduced by Congressman Steve King (IA-4). A list of the bill’s co-sponsors is available at


1-12-17 H.R. 490 introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

2-6-17 Referred to the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

2-6-17 Referred to the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

11-1-17 The Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled "H.R.490, the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017."


Written testimony and a complete video of the hearing can be viewed here. You may also be interested in the following video clips of pro-life witness testimony and pro-life Member participation in the hearing.


Dr. Kathi Aultman, M.D, Associate Scholar, Charlotte Lozier Institute
Star Parker, Founder and President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
David Forte, Professor of Law, Cleveland State University

Member Statements and Questions

Subcommittee Chairman Steve King (R-IA): Opening, Questions/sonogram video
Full Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA): Opening (printed statement)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): Questions
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Questions
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA): Questions
Priests for Life
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