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Jim Banks Interviewed About Heartbeat Bill on WOWO

Yesterday Jim Banks had the opportunity to speak with WOWO Programming Director Ryan Wrecker about the Indiana Heartbeat Bill. Their conversation touched on the importance of this pro-life legislation and why these and other legislative proposal aimed at reducing the number of aboritons in Indiana is good public policy.

Wrecker spoke at length about why he feels legislators and Hoosier citizens should get behind this legislation. Jim made a promise to his constituents that he would continue to press the fight on pro-life issues at every opportunity. SB 144, the Indiana Heartbeat Bill, which has also be introduced in the House by Representative Curt Nisley from Elkhart, has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services. To learn more about the bill or find out how you can help, be sure to like the Heartbeat Bill Indiana community on Facebook!

You can listen to the audio of Jim interview with Wrecker or jump to the transcript of their conversation below.

Here's the transcript of Jim's interview with Ryan Wrecker on WOWO radio from January 5, 2015.

Ryan Wrecker:
Joining us now, a very popular lawmaker I would say because the impact he has made not only on the Statehouse but on the country the sacrifices he has made as someone in the service. I highly respect this person to not only have him talk about the legislative session that is starting in Indianapolis but also what is being called the Indiana Heartbeat Act, I wanted to get more information on this. Joining us now is our representative here Senator Jim Banks. Thank you so much for coming on with us.

Jim Banks:
It's great to be with you and Happy New Year to you and the WOWO listeners!

Ryan Wrecker:
How is everything going in Indy?

Jim Banks:
Well today was our first day and for me it's been a great day. It's been two years since I've had the honor of being a state senator and being at the Statehouse. As you know I took a leave of absence last year, I was replaced by my wife. Who, I was told many times today, did a better job than I did. I am humbled by that. It is an honor to serve and it's a great privilege to be a state senator and to be back at work for the 2016 legislative session.

Ryan Wrecker:
Right, are the chairs still comfortable? I thought they had replaced them 

Jim Banks:
They are awfully cozy. I did notice my wife left a number of things in the desk - I asked my assistant to clean out the desk as my wife left a little bit of a mess when she left, but it's an honor to be back.

Ryan Wrecker:
So you didn't have to Google expiration dates on M&Ms or things like that to double-check and see if they're still good?

Jim Banks:
No, not yet!

Ryan Wrecker:
So one of the things you are making state news for is the Indiana Heartbeat Act. I know you're not the sole person that is the brains behind it. I do what to talk to you a little about it and the intentions and the reasoning behind it. Can you talk a about what led you to bring this up and what you think is going to happen with it, the Indiana Heartbeat Act.

Jim Banks:
Thanks for bringing up this pro-life issue. When I was elected to the Senate six years ago I promised I the voters of my district that every legislative session I would introduce pro-life legislation. Over the past six years we passed a number of pro-life provisions; some that I introduced, bills that were introduced by other senators; that have made Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the country. The Heartbeat Bill would go even much further by requiring a doctor to determine if an unborn human has a detectable heartbeat before they induce or perform an abortion.

I think it is an important opportunity from a public policy standpoint to remind individuals that when an abortion occurs that an unborn baby with a detectible heartbeat is often the victim of an abortion. As a pro-life senator who wants to see less abortions this would be a large step forward in reducing the number of abortions in the state.

Ryan Wrecker:
This is something that speaks to my heart too because I am in favor of this. It kind of burdens me to think that because I guess the way I look at it is when a woman becomes pregnant you're not carrying an elephant or a cat, you're carrying a human being - what you are developing and building is a human being and for me that starts at conception.

I understand the laws of abortion and I know we want to be supportive to outlaw it altogether in Indiana. I think it is very reasonable to say that if there is a heartbeat you are detecting a human heartbeat and you need to recognize it is a human and humans have rights to be protected. That makes sense to me, it speaks to me and I'm glad you are doing this. What's the support look like this so far, what kind of things have you run into?

Jim Banks:
Today is the first day of session and a number of bills have been introduced on a wide range of subjects so at this point it is hard to say. It is a controversial piece of legislation, sadly. For those of us who are pro-life especially if you are from northeast Indiana where I find most people I talk to are pro-life and would support measures like this. Unfortunately some parts of the state and some of my colleagues would disagree with the notion. But that is what the legislative process is all about and that's why I look forward to the debate on this issue and on a number of other issues. there are other pro-life bills that have been introduced this session as well. As I said before it is my hope that while I am at the Statehouse and have this opportunity that has been provided by the voters in my district I will fight to make Indiana more of a pro-life state than what it already is, and this is one example of a major way to do that.

Ryan Wrecker:
I think a lot of people, especially representatives when they run for office, say they are - this will actually be a good test, I think. Do you know when this will go up for a vote, is it slated on the schedule at all?

Jim Banks:
I filed the bill, it's been introduced and assigned to the Health Committee in the Senate. But it's to be determined whether or not it will be taken up in the committee and voted on. Let me make a couple of more points:

Rep. Curt Nisly (R-Elkhart) has introduced the exact same legislation on the House side.

Furthermore, for those interested in this issue there is a Facebook page devoted to the cause. You can go and like the Facebook page which is Heartbeat Indiana and you can stay posted there and learn more about how you can be active in this cause. I would encourage your listeners to do that.

Ryan Wrecker:
Obviously when this goes through this this will be contested and I think this will be a hot-button issue. What I like about you... am I allowed to praise you for just one second? I know it may be a modesty thing, but I like that the things you stand up for you really do stand up for. We don't see that a lot in the legislative process anymore, we see people very easily cower when the pressure gets a little bit hot. I don't see that happening with you. I'm actually very proud that you're bringing this up because it is something that has spoke to my heart and it really burdens me to think about all the abortions that happen in this state. There's a lot of women we talk to who that say "I wish I wouldn't have done it." I think maybe we can help some of those people too with something like this. I really hope this is taken seriously. I hope there's not a lot of people who try to shy away from this. I hope this issue is brought up and I hope it goes to a vote, I really do. I wanted to congratulate you for your courage to bring this up and I wanted to thank you for it.

Jim Banks:
Thanks Ryan, I appreciate that very much. One thing I've learned in six years of being a state senators is that often times it is just the first step of introducing a bill that begins the conversation and I don't know what the fate of the legislation will be this session. What I do know is that I've introduced a number of bills that have taken one or two or three years to get passed. This may be this type of issue, it may take more than this year to get it done. I'll do whatever I can to advance the cause of supporting the unborn in Indiana. I'm proud of what we've already done in the state to make us one of the most pro-life states in the country. There's more to do, there are more than 8,000 abortions performed in the state of Indiana. If we can reduce that substantially or even by a little bit, the cause is worth it and I'm not afraid to take on that cause.

Ryan Wrecker:
For me it's a cause that I'm proud the state of Indiana is taking some steps to that. I'm proud to call myself a Bible-believing Christian and I want to be able to live based on those things and I want to be able to show those things and I want people to look at me and say "this is a person who walks the walk." That's why I like to look at things like this and say, "I appreciate what you're doing, I'm glad for what you're doing" and I think that more people need to hopefully show their support for this and that's why I wanted to bring you on and I wanted to thank you too, so thank you so much for joining us today.

Jim Banks:
Thank you very much and I look forward to being with you again soon.

Ryan Wrecker:
What a great guest, Jim Banks - someone who is in our area, he's visited the studio before. This is someone who is true to his word and this is something I look for. It's kind of rare and it's sad that it's rare that you have to search for people who are honest to their word and themselves.

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