COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill imposing one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the nation was signed into law in Ohio on Thursday, banning abortions after a detectable heartbeat in a long-sought victory for abortion opponents that drew an immediate constitutional challenge.

“Taking this action really is a kind of a time-honored tradition, the constitutional tradition of making a good faith argument for modification or reversal of existing legal precedents. So that is what this is.” — Republican Gov. Mike DeWine

In signing the heartbeat bill, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine broke with his predecessor, Republican John Kasich, who had vetoed the measure twice on grounds that it was unconstitutional.

But DeWine defended Ohio Republicans’ decision to push the boundaries of the law, because “it is the right thing to do.”

“Taking this action really is a kind of a time-honored tradition, the constitutional tradition of making a good faith argument for modification or reversal of existing legal precedents,” he said. “So that is what this is.”

He said it’s the government’s job to protect the vulnerable. The bill outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which doctors say can be as early as five weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

ACLU Preparing a Constitutional Challenge

Ohio’s closely divided politics had slowed the progress of the bill as it has caught momentum elsewhere , forcing years of debate in the state where the movement originated. Of five previous states that have passed heartbeat bills, three have seen their laws struck down or blocked by the courts, another faces a legal injunction and the fifth is awaiting governor’s action.

DeWine’s action came a day after the latest version of the bill cleared the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Even before the bill was signed, the ACLU of Ohio said it was preparing a constitutional challenge to the law on behalf of Pre-Term Cleveland and three other Ohio abortion clinics.

The legal challenge is what the bill’s backers have always wanted. They hope to provoke a legal challenge with the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

“The heartbeat bill is the next incremental step in our strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. “While other states embrace radical legislation to legalize abortion on demand through the ninth month of pregnancy, Ohio has drawn a line and continues to advance protections for unborn babies.”

No Exceptions for Pregnancies Resulting From Rape or Incest

Kellie Copeland, director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said lawmakers and the governor have plunged the state into “a dystopian nightmare where people are forced to continue pregnancies regardless of the harm that may come to them or their family.”

“I just want to make it very, very clear, our concern is not just for the unborn, our concern is for all individuals who need protection. It is our duty, I believe, and an essential function of government, to protect those who cannot protect themselves.” — Republican Gov. Mike DeWine

The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

EMILY’s List, a national group that supports candidates who favor abortion rights, also decried the Ohio bill, as did the Democratic National Committee.

DNC CEO Seema Nanda called it “the latest example of how the Trump administration’s extremist, anti-women policies have emboldened legislators across the country to attack women’s access to health care.”

DeWine said his administration is committed to supporting pregnant women.

“I just want to make it very, very clear, our concern is not just for the unborn, our concern is for all individuals who need protection,” he said. “It is our duty, I believe, and an essential function of government, to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

One Response

  1. Jeriah Knox

    Scriptures speaking of our humanity in the womb………..

    And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger thanthe other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. ” – Genesis 25:22-24

    • “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” – Job 31:15

    • “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written,which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:14-18

    • “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.” – Ecclesiastes 11:4-5

    • “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” – Isaiah 44:24

    • “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:4-5

    • “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;” – Hosea 12:3-4

    • “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

    Reply

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