Dr. Kristyn Brandi, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health and an abortion provider in New Jersey, told PolitiFact that framing this as a heartbeat is "medically inaccurate" because the fetus has not actually developed a heart during this early stage.
"What they are referring to is being able to visualize electric activity in the cells that will eventually become a heart," Brandi said.
Electric impulses are captured by the ultrasound machine to create the sound despite no cardiac valves creating that sound, according to Dr. Nisha Verma, an abortion provider and a fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a professional organization.
"Those electric impulses do not make the sound of a heartbeat on their own, nor do they suggest that the heart is now developed," Verma said. "This is not a particularly important part of fetal cardiac development, even though it may be an important moment for my patients who are connecting with their pregnancies."
Under the Florida bill, state and local government would not enforce the law. Instead, action would be taken through civil lawsuits. These suits could be filed against both women seeking an abortion and a doctor who performs them. They can also be filed against those who aid and abet those seeking an abortion.
Successful claimants can claim as much as $10,000 per abortion performed.
The same is true in Texas under the state's current abortion law, where some have referred to the setup as a bounty system. Two lawsuits have already been filed against a San Antonio doctor who admitted to violating the ban.
"Well, that's the law, and I want that $10,000," Oscar Stilley, a disbarred lawyer in Arkansas, said when explaining why he was filing the suit. "I intend to be the fastest gun in the West."
The U.S. Justice Department is challenging the law's constitutionality after the Supreme Court allowed the law to stand. The department has asked a federal judge in Austin to issue an emergency court order to block enforcement of the ban.
Are there abortion exceptions for rape, incest?