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COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Republicans in the Ohio Legislature have introduced legislation that would fully recognize preborn humans as people in the state, and ban all abortions by putting prenatal killing under the existing murder statutes.

Introduced by Republican state Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood, House Bill 413 declares that “no person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, perform or have an abortion,” and that courts “shall regard the unborn child victim of an aggravated abortion murder or abortion murder as a person who is less than thirteen years of age.” 

Abortionists would not be prosecuted for administering life-saving treatment to a pregnant woman whose life is at risk, provided they take “all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman.”

“The time for regulating evil and compromise is over,” Keller said, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable Right to Life. Only respect for life can be the foundation of a free society that supports peace, justice and integrity.”

“The most important aspect of this visionary legislation is the recognition that unborn children are human beings from conception, and should be afforded the equal protection of our laws,” said Meg Whitman, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati executive director, in support of the measure.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and the state abortion provider Preterm issued statements registering the abortion lobby’s standard complaints that the bill would “hurt women” and erase “reproductive freedom,” but Ohio Right to Life also expressed some distance from HB 413.

“Ohio Right to Life was not involved in the drafting of this bill, although we share their ultimate goal of ending all abortion,” the group’s vice president and executive director Stephanie Ranade Krider said in a statement. “While we also feel a profound sense of urgency to end all abortion in Ohio, we believe that the Heartbeat Bill, which is currently in the courts, is the best way to achieve our goal of overturning Roe v Wade. As we closely monitor the Heartbeat Bill as it moves through the legal processes, we will also continue furthering the cause of life at the local level.”

Ohio Right to Life has previously opposed the Heartbeat Bill.

In April, Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a heartbeat law banning nearly all abortions, which has been enjoined by a federal judge. Should HB 413 be enacted, it is sure to face a similar legal challenge.