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Janet Porter (YouTube)

Heartbeat bills

This Christian activist is quietly propelling extreme anti-abortion bills across the country

By WITW Staff on April 29, 2019

An anti-abortion advocate who believes gay marriage causes floods has become a Republican darling as conservative states across the U.S. work to pass so-called “heartbeat bills” that ban abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy.

Janet Porter, the leader of nationwide “gay conversion” campaigns and founder of far-right Christian group Faith 2 Action spent nine years on the fringes of the abortion debate as mainstream anti-abortion groups criticized her proposals as too extreme even for them.

But since the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of two conservative Supreme Court justices, states such as Ohio have cast aside their prior restraint as they test whether the Supreme Court is willing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark legal decision that made it illegal to criminalize abortions before at least 20 weeks of pregnancy.

While 11 states have introduced “heartbeat bills” just this year, the one recently passed in Ohio stands out. The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and would allow prosecutors to jail doctors who perform abortions. But despite her role in lobbying for the bill’s passage, Porter was not invited to the bill’s signing ceremony by anti-abortion Republican governor Mike DeWine. Porter herself, it appeared, was too controversial to be associated with the anti-abortion legislation she helped pass.

Despite pushback, Porter insists that she’s really about expanding human rights, not restricting them. To that end, she likes to compare herself to abolitionists who once campaigned to end slavery.

“Thank God people were willing to challenge Supreme Court rulings, like slavery, like abortion,” Porter told the Guardian.

Read the full story at the Guardian.

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