Stacey Abrams promotes conspiracy theory that fetal heartbeats are 'manufactured' to control women

"There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks [pregnancy]," gubernatorial candidate claims.
Stacey Abrams, September 2022

Faltering Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams this week advanced a bizarre conspiracy theory that fetal heartbeats—the detection of early cardiac rhythms in unborn human beings—are "manufactured" sounds meant to help bring about control over women's bodies. 

Abrams, who has been trailing behind her opponent the incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp,  made the claim during an event at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Atlanta on Wednesday. 

"There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks," Abrams said to the audience. "It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman's body."

The medically unusual theory was made possibly in reference to Georgia's current anti-abortion law, which forbids the termination of a fetus's life after the point that its heartbeat can be detected, usually around five to six weeks of pregnancy. 

Medical authorities such as the American Pregnancy Association and Johns Hopkins University affirm that fetal heartbeats begin as early as around 5-6 weeks. 

In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll released this week, Abrams was trailing behind Kemp by nearly 10 points.