Despite the fact that federal judges in Arkansas and North Dakota have struck down similar laws because of their blatant unconstitutionality, certain Ohio legislators, with the public support of the Duggar family (19 Kids and Counting), want to give their under-worked federal judges something to do, too. They’ve resurrected a fetal heartbeat bill that died in the last session. The bill will prohibit any abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – about 6 weeks after conception.
Ohio currently has a law that prohibits abortion of a viable fetus after 20 weeks of gestation. The law has not been challenged. A redeeming provision in the bill says that doctors must test for viability after 20 weeks – that means a fetus with severe genetic or developmental abnormalities can still be aborted. That bill did not make an exception for rape or incest, and the exception to protect the health of the mother is limited to that which saves her life or prevents a permanent impairment of a major bodily function. If she will be simply suffer tremendously by continuing the pregnancy, Ohio really doesn’t care.The goal of such draconian anti-abortion bills is to get the issue back in front of the United States Supreme Court and persuade the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.
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