Ohio to automatically ban abortion after Roe v. Wade falls if new bill passes
COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Lawmakers in Ohio are preparing for a future without Roe v. Wade, with this week’s introduction of legislation that would automatically ban abortion in the state upon the infamous ruling’s invalidation.
Republican state Rep. John Becker introduced House Bill 538, under which physicians who abort preborn babies would face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, in addition to losing their medical licenses. Abortion-seeking women would not be subject to punishment, but would be given the right to file lawsuits against their abortionists.
The conditions of the bill would only take effect, however, if and when Roe v. Wade is either overturned by another Supreme Court ruling or rendered null and void by a constitutional amendment.
"Ohio is a pro-life state," Becker declared, the Cleveland Scene reported. "If and when the Supreme Court decides to return the issue of abortion back to the states, we want to be prepared for what comes next.”
Because it wouldn’t take effect until after Roe falls, the “trigger bill” won’t provoke lawsuits or impact future abortion deliberations at the Supreme Court. Supporters say it’s important to prepare state laws for a favorable ruling they hope President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees will deliver in the near future.
The court is currently reviewing a Louisiana law imposing safety standards on abortionists, but while it’s theoretically possible the court could take the opportunity to pass judgment on Roe, many expect that case to end with a far more limited ruling.
In the meantime, the legislatures of numerous states have introduced total or near-total abortion bans, in hopes of provoking legal challenges that would necessarily instigate such a review. Ohio itself also has one such bill, which would add killing the preborn to the state’s existing murder statutes, pending in the legislature.