Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Heartbeat Away

Ohio has passed legislation that would force women to carry a baby to term even before they know they’re pregnant.

Ohio lawmakers passed a bill late Tuesday that would prohibit abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected — at around six weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant.

If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.

But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.

“New president, new Supreme Court justice appointees, change the dynamic,” state Senate President Keith Faber (R) told WHIO-TV after the vote. Asked if he believed it could withstand a constitutional challenge, he replied he felt “it has a better chance than it did before.”


Abortion rights groups immediately condemned the measure, including how it was passed: as a last-minute amendment to an unrelated bill. They said it contains no exceptions for rape or incest. And they noted that the Ohio legislature is set to vote on another abortion restriction, one that would ban the procedure at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Aside from the fact that this turns the woman’s body over to the state without so much as a clue she is pregnant in the first place, the legislation is based on junk science that endows a clump of cells with more rights than the woman who is carrying it.

If that isn’t fascism, then it’s damn close.

One bark on “A Heartbeat Away

  1. This isn’t new. I remember the attempts to pass the “Heartbeat Bill” years ago while I was on the board of Planned Parenthood. We just rolled our eyes knowing that such drastic measures would never make it into law since it was plainly unconstitutional and couldn’t withstand a challenge in court. But nothing is so enduring as the determination of Right-To-Lifers intent on protecting a fetus while ignoring the woman’s plight and at the same time ignoring the implications of caring for an unwanted fourth or fifth child, the child of a 13 year old impregnated by her uncle, or one with horrible physical deformities.

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