Last Thursday, Ohio passed the controversial “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Now, GOP lawmakers are putting forth another bill, this time seeking to ban abortions entirely.
As WOSU reports, HB565 was introduced in March and would allow criminal charges to be filed against both a woman seeking an abortion and the doctor who provided it for her. The bill would also classify a fetus as an “unborn human” under Ohio’s criminal code regarding homicide. As WOSU points out, this kind of potential legislation could make abortion punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
NARAL Pro Choice Ohio and Planned Parenthood are attacking the bill head-on.
“This could criminalize women who have miscarriages that might seem suspicious to somebody or could criminalize in-vitro fertilization procedures that might end up with an embryo,” NARAL Ohio’s Jaime Miracle says.
Although the bill is being considered by the Ohio House’s health committee, it is reportedly unlikely to be voted on this year.
“Ohio just took us one step closer to becoming a forced-birth nation,” #VOTERPROCHOICE cofounder Heidi Sieck told Refinery29. “Legislators in Ohio are banning abortion before women even know they’re pregnant — and we must stand up and speak out against this dangerous bill.”
According to the bill that was approved Thursday, if an abortion is performed on a fetus that registers a heartbeat, it would result in a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable in Ohio by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The bill will now head to the Ohio Senate for a final vote.
There are no exceptions for rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger.
From The New York Times:
Representative Christina Hagan, the lead sponsor of the bill, said in an interview on Friday that it was crafted specifically to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 45-year-old Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right.
“We believe Ohio is best positioned to send this through the Circuit Courts and to the federal Supreme Court,” said Ms. Hagan, a Republican who campaigned on behalf of President Trump.
She said she was “confident” the bill would become law by the end of the year. Both the House and the Senate have a Republican-dominated veto-proof majority.
In 2016, Governor John Kasich vetoed a similar bill, saying it was contrary to the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion.
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube