Ohio Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill That Would Effectively Ban Abortion

Ohio Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill That Would Effectively Ban Abortion December 7, 2016

Christian extremists push draconian anti-abortion bill through Ohio’s Republican led House and Senate.

Ohio lawmakers have passed a controversial “Heartbeat Bill” that would ban abortions in that state from the moment the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected — which usually occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy.

The bill would ban abortion, without exception, after a fetal heartbeat can be detected; that’s usually around six weeks into a pregnancy, which is before many women know that they are pregnant at all.

That means the bill would effectively ban abortion in the state of Ohio.

If signed by Gov. John Kasich, physicians could face a year in prison if they perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected or if they fail to check for one before a procedure.

Huffington Post reports the measure was attached at the last minute as an amendment to an unrelated child abuse bill. It has no exceptions for rape or incest.

Pro-abortion rights advocates note the measure is the most extreme abortion restriction in the country. The legislation would effectively ban the procedure before most women even realize they’re pregnant. Dawn Laguens, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said:

After years of passing anti-abortion laws under the guise of protecting women’s health and safety, they lay bare their true motives: to ban abortion in the state of Ohio.

Right Wing Watch reports that the draconian, anti-woman, forced birth legislation is the brainchild of Ohio Religious Right activist Janet Porter.

Porter wrote the Ohio “heartbeat bill” and has for years led the charge for its passage, including bringing a fetus to “testify” in favor of the bill in 2011.

CNN reports Trump’s election, and a presumption that he’ll appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, spurred Ohio Republicans to pass what would effectively be the nation’s most draconian abortion law.

Commenting on the legislation, Ohio Senate President Keith Faber explained why the legislature’s Republican majority decided to pass the controversial legislation this week:

One, a new President, new Supreme Court justice appointees change the dynamic, and that there was a consensus in our caucus to move forward.

If Kasich signs the bill, or if he does nothing within 10 days, the measure would become law early next year.

If the bill does become law, it would almost certainly face a constitutional challenge.

Bottom line: The election of Donald Trump has emboldened religious extremists around the country, and our long national nightmare under President Donald Trump is only beginning.

Ohio State House (Image via Wikimedia)
Ohio State House (Image via Wikimedia)

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