The Fight Over Abortion In Ohio: Where Does It Go From Here?

The Fight Over Abortion In Ohio: Where Does It Go From Here?

The Fight Over Abortion In Ohio: Where Does It Go From Here?

DeWine's signature makes OH the fifth state to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

About 24 hours after the Ohio General Assembly passed the controversial legislation, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, Gov. Mike DeWine delivered on his campaign promise and signed it into law.

During a conversation I had with local state Rep. Glenn Holmes, D-Girard, back in December (that was when a previous attempt at this bill's passage was blocked by veto of previous Gov. John Kasich), Holmes said he feared the heartbeat bill's far-reaching abortion bans would be used specifically to set off court challenges ultimately to test Roe v. Wade.

"The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us, those who don't have a voice", DeWine said at the bill's signing. "Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end, to protect those who can not protect themselves, such as the elderly, the unborn, those who are sick, those who have mental illness or have an addiction", DeWine said at a mid-afternoon signing ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse April 11.

The bill does include an exception to save the life of the woman, but no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Similar bills passed in Kentucky and Iowa have been struck down as unconstitutional by federal judges.

Before the bill was signed, the American Civil Liberties Union of OH indicated that it would challenge the law on behalf of 4 OH abortion clinics. In 2018 alone, seven states introduced so-called "heartbeat bills" that ban abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy. "And we've talked a lot about the 95 percent of the time that we are going to agree, maybe not on the direction, maybe not what we want to do as a state, but 95 percent of the time, we are going to be out there working on things that... you know, jobs packages, education issues, things like that... and the 5 percent that are issues that are volatile issues that Republicans and Democrats traditionally don't agree upon, we can't dwell on those issues".

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Schneller said she is skeptical the reconfigured court will overturn or weaken Roe, as abortion foes are hoping: "Over 45 years, the court has had different compositions, and we've always gotten the same answer".

This bill is a disgrace, and it will endanger women's lives in Ohio.

If a heartbeat is detected and the doctor still performs an abortion then he or she can be charged with a felony.

(Brooke LaValley/The Columbus Dispatch via AP) Some members of the Ohio House applaud following the vote for the Heartbeat Bill while others photograph protesters who unfurled banners reading "This is not a House of Worship" and "This is not a Doctor's office" at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on April 10, 2019. Florida legislators also are considering a heartbeat bill.

The law will punish doctors and other practitioners who perform abortions after they detect a heartbeat or if they fail to perform an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound to check for a heartbeat.

"Pro-life Ohio thanks Governor DeWine for taking a courageous stand on behalf of unborn children with beating hearts", said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis in a statement.

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