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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Right to Life supports only part of so-called "heartbeat package"


Legislation in the state House proposed by state Rep. Thomas Hooker, R-Byron Center, would require abortion providers to use ultrasound to detect a fetus's heartbeat – and offer the woman a chance to hear it.

That bill has the support of Right to Life of Michigan.

But the group does not support Hooker's two other bills that make it a crime to perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected.

Ultrasound can generally detect a heartbeat at about seven weeks.

Rep. Hooker says he understands Right to Life's position, "(but) I think the discussion needs to begin to happen on the fact that this is an actual baby with a heartbeat, and we need to recognize that."

Genevieve Marnon is with Right to Life of Michigan. 

"It's not that we don't support the package in principal," she says, but "because (Supreme Court decision) Roe v. Wade is still in place, we don't believe the heartbeat bill will stand constitutional muster."

Marnon says Michigan still has a law on its books that makes all abortions illegal – even though court decisions have rendered that law irrelevant.

She says that law is better than Hooker's proposal, and it would go into effect immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned.