Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that would ban abortions six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy on Tuesday, making it the most extreme abortion ban in the country. Six weeks is the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected. By calling this legislation a “heartbeat bill” anti-abortion lawmakers can take the focus away from the woman carrying the pregnancy and toward the fetus.
Legislators sneaked the anti-abortion language into a Senate bill addressing child abuse and neglect laws at the last minute on Monday. The House voted to approve the bill Tuesday night.
Anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life previously said the bill would not stand up to a constitutional challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked similar laws in North Dakota and Arkansas that criminalized abortion after six weeks and 12 weeks respectively, and the Ohio Senate previously didn’t act on the bill. But with a Donald Trump administration and a new Supreme Court justice in the near future, anti-abortion lawmakers like their chances, Cleveland.com reported.
“A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward,” Republican Senate President Keith Faber said during the lame duck session, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “I think it has a better chance than it did before.”
I have never been happier to be well beyond any possibility of pregnancy, a state I’ve been in for well over a quarter century now. I truly fear for all those who do have to live with the possibility of pregnancy, and the obstacle course they are faced with if they decide on a termination. This is bad news, because if this doesn’t get overturned as the other cases have been, you can bet this legislation will be introduced once again, and not just in the states where it was previously tried.
Full story at Think Progress.