Social media erupted Thursday after a viral clip emerged of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams telling an audience there was “no such thing” as a fetal heartbeat six weeks into a pregnancy.
“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” Abrams said at an event at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Atlanta. “It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”
Pro-life social media users promptly criticized Abrams, accusing her of spreading medical disinformation as a means to back up her pro-choice stance.
“Whaaaaaat hahaha manufactured by whom? Does she think some doctor is hiding behind the Doppler beatboxing into a microphone in perfect imitation of a heartbeat? Stacey Abrams is so deranged,” podcast host Liz Wheeler wrote.
“Still baffled by Stacey Abrams’ statement here — “manufactured?” The idea that the sound of a heartbeat could somehow be “manufactured” or digitally added to an ultrasound is just a wild conspiracy theory to put into the universe,” Republican communicator Matt Whitlock wrote.
Republican politician Lavern Spicer also waded into the conversation and joked that no one is able to detect a heartbeat in Abrams either.
“When pro-aborts deny that fetal heartbeats can be detected at 6 weeks, they argue it’s not *technically* a heartbeat because it’s not a fully-formed heart. No one is saying heartbeats picked up by sonograms are literally just fake (except Stacey Abrams),” Daily Caller reporter Laurel Duggan chimed in.
A number of other disgruntled Twitter users also weighed in on Abrams’ controversial claim.
Some forms of ultrasound can detect cardiac activity in an embryo at six weeks, though are most effective in detecting a heartbeat at around eight weeks. There is much debate among pro-life and pro-choice groups about what exactly a heartbeat means, as numerous medical textbooks use the words like “heart” and “heartbeat” to refer to an embryo’s cardiovascular system at different stages of development. Even Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, stipulates that at five to six weeks, a “very basic beating heart” develops.
Fox News Digital reached out to Abrams’ office for clarification, but did not receive a response.
Abrams, with her comment, appeared to be referring to a piece of Georgia legislation, known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (Life) Act, or “heartbeat” bill, which bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected — sometimes as early as six weeks. The law includes exceptions for rape and incest, as long as a police report is filed. It also allows for later abortions when the mother’s life is at risk or a serious medical condition interferes with the viability of the pregnancy.
The bill was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, R., Abrams’ opponent in a rematch of their 2018 contest.
Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report.