COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some Ohio lawmakers are proposing new legislation that would put a ban on all abortions.
Last General Assembly, the bill that would have completely banned abortions had no exceptions for life of the mother, incest, or rape; and it carried a potential murder charge for women who have abortions and the doctors that perform them.
The bill introduced this week at the Statehouse by Republican State Representatives Ron Hood (term limited) and Candice Keller (running for State Senate) appears to be similar. Hood was one of two joint sponsors on last year's bill, Keller was a co-sponsor.
This year's bill would recognize a fetus as a person opening the mother and healthcare providers up to murder charges if an abortion is performed.
As with the bill in the last General Assembly, Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO) is behind this piece of legislation.
"This has been a goal of our movement since Roe v Wade," said Margie Christie, president of RTLACO. "We would like to protect the life of every unborn child at conception."
Last year's bill got lost in the shuffle, according to the RTLACO, but support for the bill does not appear to have been strong enough to move it forward as it only had 19 co-sponsors. This year, however, they claim 21 co-sponsors have signed onto the bill.
Additionally, Ohio Right to Life did not support or oppose the bill last year. When asked if the organization had indicated to them that would be different this year, the RTLACO says they had not had that conversation with them.
"First of all, I don't know why they would not be in support of this, but should they come out against it or not for it; we would hope they wouldn't come out against it, we would hope that if they weren't in support or had a reason not to support it, that that would be just something that they would keep to themselves," said Christie. "We know we have the heartbeat supporters support and they were able to accomplish their goal without Ohio Right to Life until the very end so we're not really concerned about that."
Ohio's heartbeat abortion ban she referred to was passed earlier this General Assembly after passing two previous times only to be vetoed by then Governor Kasich. Current Governor Mike DeWine signed the heartbeat bill earlier this year.
That law was subsequently blocked by federal courts as unconstitutional. It was always meant to be a vehicle to challenge Roe v Wade at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ohio Right to Life did not support the heartbeat bill until the number of conservative judges on the SCOTUS outnumbered liberal judges.
As of right now, Ohio Right to Life says it has not read the bill yet and hasn't made a decision about its support; even though it is almost entirely the same bill that was introduced during the last General Assembly.
Had they read this bill they would see that portions of a bill that has been decried as nonsense by medical professionals have been added.
In a section detailing how a physician can avoid prosecution for performing an abortion, there is an entry that is mandatory to qualify for immunity. It reads:
"(C) Takes all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman. Such steps include, if applicable, attempting to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman's uterus."
This section is part of State Representative John Becker's bill which we debunked months ago.
You may recall, medical professionals have already explained how re-implanting an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus is not medically possible.
Becker is a co-sponsor of this total abortion ban bill which carries no exceptions for rape or incest.
A woman with a fatal condition, which is defined as a disease or injury that will lead to a patient's death, can get an abortion. But only if that disease or injury is not a condition related to the patient's mental health. The disease or injury is not a condition of the pregnancy itself.
So a young girl impregnated by her incestuous brother, or uncle, or father that is in a fatal situation because her body cannot carry the child to term would have no other recourse.
Also, if a woman is convicted of a felony, she cannot get an abortion while in prison; and because rape would not be an exception, if she is raped by a guard she would be forced to carry the baby to term.
Meanwhile, Pro-Choice advocates immediately came out against the bill raising the same issues they did last General Assembly when it was introduced.
"This isn't about science, this isn't about medicine, this isn't about health care; this is about placating a political base that needs constant feeding of anti-abortion bills in this legislature and will not give up until abortion is outlawed," said Jaime Miracle of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. "We're here to say that we're not going to give up fighting these bills and protecting access to abortion care in our state."
When asked about the prospects of the current total abortion ban bill earning his signature, Governor DeWine said, "I think that we should stay focused on what the legislature has passed; the heartbeat bill. If that bill is going to be upheld it will only be upheld in the United States Supreme Court. We knew that when it was passed; we knew it when I signed it; we should let that play out; we should go see what the United States Supreme Court does in regard to either that case or a similar case."