In a giant step backward, lawmakers in Ohio passed a bill on November 15th that bans all abortions after the fetus develops a detectable heartbeat.
The Ohio House of Representatives presented and passed, by a vote of 60 to 35, House Bill 258 which has the Short Title: “Prohibit abortion if unborn has detectable heartbeat.”
This bill is stricter than just about every other abortion law in the United States. It would hold doctors accountable for criminal damages should they perform an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The charge is the lowest class of felony in Ohio, the Fifth Degree. It carries a 6-12 month prison term with a maximum fine of $2,500.
Typically, an ultrasound test can identify a fetal heartbeat about six weeks after conception. Unfortunately, many women do not know they are pregnant by then. Morning sickness starts at about the same time, about two weeks after a missed menstrual period.
In some cases, a fetal heartbeat has been observed 16 days after pregnancy began.
This incredibly punitive bill because makes no allowance for cases of rape or incest. The only exception allowed for a physician is for medical emergencies or if performing the abortion would save the mother’s life.
Leaving some to wonder if these lawmakers are out of their ever-loving minds. Do any of them have a medical degree or experience with family planning and population control? Or are they merely exercising their right to waste taxpayer time and money by pursuing a law so short-sighted that it is bound to fail?
Further research reveals that this pack is being led by a woman named Christina Hagan. She claims her underlying motive is to challenge Roe v. Wade — a Supreme Court decision made 45 years ago that deemed abortion to be a constitutional right.
Hagan, a Republican, campaigned for President Donald Trump. She is “confident” that her bill will pass into law by year-end because both the Ohio House and Senate have GOP majorities that are “veto-proof.”
Having passed the Ohio House of Representatives, the next stop for the draconian bill is the state Senate. With their Republican dominance, there is little hope these legislators will separate morality from medicine.
In the state of Ohio, after a bill has been passed by the House and Senate, it is enrolled in an Act form, signed by the presiding officers of each chamber, and sent on to the governor for consideration. If the governor rejects the bill, it goes back to the chamber which originated it with a veto message. According to Ohio law:
“At this point, three-fifths (3/5) of the members of each chamber may vote to override the Governor’s veto. If both chambers override the Governor’s veto, the bill becomes law in the same manner as if the Governor had originally approved it.”
If the Governor rejects the bill, s/he sends it back to the chamber of origin with a veto message. At this point, three-fifths (3/5) of the members of each chamber may vote to override the Governor’s veto. If both chambers override the Governor’s veto, the bill becomes law in the same manner as if the Governor had originally approved it.
This nightmare scenario has happened before. In 2016, Ohio Governor Kasich nixed House Bill 493 which also sought to criminalize abortions where fetal heartbeats were detectable. The state leader gave his reason for blocking the abortion bill:
“Certain provisions…are clearly contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortions.”
Kasic then pointed out that “Similar legislation enacted in two other states has twice been declared unconstitutional by federal judges, and the Supreme Court declined to review those decisions.”
Because of the unconstitutionality of the 2016 HB 493, Governor Kasich knew that “the federal courts are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion” and therefore the bill would be “struck down.”
The savvy governor understands the economics of pursuing an inherently unsound legal course:
“The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers.”
But Kasich wasn’t done yet. He pointed out that should that bill be contested successfully, other related legal battles over the right to life would undoubtedly follow:
“Furthermore, such a defeat invites additional challenges to Ohio’s strong legal protections for unborn life. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.”
When will the insanity end? Forget women’s civil, legal, ethical, and medical rights. Forget the fact that population growth is straining global resources. Forget Roe v. Wade.
What would happen to Ohio if this bill becomes law and all the pro-lifers just up and moved away? Ohio might be able to beat out Illinois for the number of people who leave for greener pastures. In this case, though, the greenery is not money but freedom.