Ohio Heartbeat Ban Update

               So a while back we told you about H.B. 125 in the Ohio state government. This bill would ban all abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The bill is absurd for a couple of reasons. First any law that would limit access to abortion is wrong and infringes on a person’s right to determine what happens in their own bodies. Secondly it is the most extreme anti-choice law currently under consideration in any state. Yes a lot of states have laws pending that could severely inhibit women’s access to abortion; which is bad. This law doesn’t just impede their access; it would impede women from actually being legally allowed to even HAVE an abortion.

                A fetal heartbeat can usually be detected around 5 to 6 weeks. This is right around when most women are even able to find out they are pregnant and many women won’t find out until well past this time frame. Let’s give this a best case scenario though and pretend all women find out right at 5 weeks. They still need time to make a decision and come up with the money for a procedure if they decide to end their pregnancy. Even in a best case scenario, it’s nearly impossible to actually get an abortion before time runs out.

                The law flies so far right of the right to abortion as determined by Roe V. Wade that even some pro-life groups won’t support it. They feel it is too extreme and will not withstand Supreme Court scrutiny… And there will be judicial scrutiny. The Ohio ACLU has already announced they will challenge this law if it passes.

                Yet, Ohio lawmakers are still considering it. The bill has already passed the House and deliberations were heard earlier this month in the Senate. Most arguments were made by proponents of the bill, however at least one doctor stood up to talk about how this ban would impact the health and safety of real live families. She discussed two couples who for different medical reasons chose to terminate their wanted pregnancies. She pointed out how, had this law been in effect, these to families would have to suffer through finishing a pregnancy in which once born, the babies would not have survived. It is unfair and wrong to ask women to suffer through that.

                It is in fact unfair to ask anyone to continue with a pregnancy that they have determined they are not able or willing to continue. Lawmakers should not be involved in that decision. For now the Senate President has put aside the bill claiming, essentially, that there has been too much information presented from opposing sides of the pro-life community and the other members of Senate deserve more time to consider the arguments. While I find it sad and disheartening that it is the pro-life opposition to the bill that has it shelved, I am none the less grateful that it will not be going to a vote yet. Hopefully this will help make sure the pro-choice side has a real chance to disseminate information to the members of the Ohio Senate and keep the bill from passing.

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