FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2016
CONTACT: Jonathan Abbamonte, (540) 660-2733, [email protected]
On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate and House approved of a bill that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The move makes Ohio the third state to have passed a Heartbeat Bill.
“No one should have the right to stop a beating heart,” says PRI President Steven Mosher, “Our laws should support, not abrogate, the right to life for every woman, man, and child.”
The Heartbeat language was added as an amendment to H.B. 493, a bill that reforms the state’s child abuse and neglect reporting laws. Ohio state senators voted for H.B. 493 with the Heartbeat amendment by an overwhelming majority, 21-10. The House later approved of the amended bill the same day, 56-39. The fate of the Hearbeat Bill now lies in the hands of Ohio Governor and former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich who earlier had come out in opposition to the bill.
The bill requires physicians to test for a fetal heartbeat prior to procuring an abortion. The bill bans all abortion except in cases that “in the physician’s reasonable medical judgement” determines that such an abortion would be necessary to preserve the life or an “irreversible impairment of a bodily function” of the mother.
“The Ohio Heartbeat Bill will save countless lives,” says PRI President Steven Mosher. “We stand firmly behind the pro-life majorities in the Ohio State Legislature and we call on Gov. Kasich to take a stand for life and to immediately sign this life-saving bill into law.”
Opponents of the bill have criticized the move, fearing that the bill will be quickly overturned by the courts if it becomes law.
“Pro-lifers need to be bold in taking a stance for life,” Mosher says. “The viability limit set by Roe needs to be challenged eventually. Why not now? Too much is at stake to wait until the courts are perfectly lined-up in our favor—it is possible that that day may never come. In any event, H.B. 493 includes a severability clause that would allow any portion of the law not upheld by the courts to remain standing.”
To read more about Heartbeat legislation across the country, visit https://www.pop.org/campaign/land/2074.
The Population Research Institute (PRI) is non-profit, educational organization dedicated to informing the public and policymakers on issues pertaining to population, demography, and human rights. Over the past 25 years, PRI has been a leader in exposing abuses in population control programs such as China’s former one-child policy and in exposing the myth of overpopulation.