Ban on aborting babies with heartbeats reintroduced in Ohio as new governor stands ready to sign
COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers in the Ohio legislature moved Tuesday to reintroduce a bill protecting preborn babies with beating hearts from abortions, confident it will finally become law now that Mike DeWine has replaced John Kasich as governor.
Senate Bill 23 is virtually identical to legislation unsuccessfully pushed last year, which would ban aborting any baby with a detectable heartbeat, except in cases of a physical threat to the mother. Preborn babies’ heartbeats can be detected around six weeks into pregnancy; violating physicians would face up to a year in prison.
State Sen. Kristina Roegner introduced the bill in the Senate Tuesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, while state Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood introduced the House version the day before.
“Like an S.O.S., a child in the womb is sending a signal that we can no longer ignore,” Keller declared.
“In the wake of New York passing one of the most heinous bills in American history, Ohio has the opportunity to protect the most vulnerable in our society by enacting the Heartbeat Bill,” Citizens for Community Values president Aaron Baer said. “Now is the time for Ohio to respond and say, ‘We value ALL life!’”
In December, the legislature came one vote short of overriding a veto by Kasich, who claimed the heartbeat bill was “contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion” and therefore wouldn’t be worth the cost of a drawn-out legal battle. Many pro-lifers note that nearly every pro-life law, no matter how moderate, results in a legal battle.
The outgoing Kasich, a moderate Republican with a history of conflicting actions and statements on abortion, greatly angered Ohio pro-lifers, but they took heart in the more conservative disposition of his successor.
Re-affirming previous pledges to do so, last month DeWine told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt he would “absolutely” sign a heartbeat law if it reached his desk, which it is all-but certain to do this year.
Several other states have recently introduced heartbeat bills, and Iowa signed one into law last year (it’s currently prevented from being enforced). They ban abortion much earlier than Roe v. Wade’s “viability” cutoff, meaning one is likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court. It’s not known how all the current justices will rule on abortion, but proponents of the bills say they welcome such a challenge.