Ohio House, Senate Pass Controversial ‘Heartbeat Bill’

If signed by Gov. John Kasich, the bill would make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

By Liberty McArtor Published on December 6, 2016

The Ohio state House and Senate have passed a bill that could make it illegal to abort a child after a heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks gestation, according to a report by Cincinnati.com.

Although the “heartbeat bill” previously passed the Republican-led Ohio House, it had failed to pass the Senate until Tuesday, The Columbus Dispatch reported, when it passed 21-10 after it was added to a separate bill dealing with child abuse. The House passed the bill 56-39 later in the day, USA Today reported.

Gov. John Kasich must now sign the bill for it to become law — something he has not yet indicated he would do. Kasich has expressed reservations about the bill in the past, along with other Republicans and even some pro-life groups, who have argued that because the bill is unconstitutional under current U.S. Supreme Court rulings, passing it and subsequently fighting for it in court would ultimately waste resources and endanger existing pro-life laws.

The “heartbeat bill” affords the most important liberty of all — the opportunity to live.

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, a previous opponent of the bill, allegedly changed his mind in light of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, according to USA Today. He suggested that Trump’s potential federal court nominations could give the bill a better chance of surviving a legal battle.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said Faber and others were just getting “swept up in Trumpmania.” Similarly Right to Life Northeast Ohio has not supported the heartbeat bill. The group cited “the potential negative impact the bill could have on current law” despite its “good intentions.”

Other pro-life groups, like Warren County Right to Life in Ohio, did support the bill, making calls on Facebook for people to petition Faber to vote for it.

One opponent of the bill, Sen. Charleta Tavares, D-Columbus, said it “is basically saying to women you don’t have enough sense to make a decision with your family … your God and your physician. ”

But according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander, passing it with the child abuse measure was “just flat out the right thing to do. It affords the most important liberty of all — the opportunity to live.” 

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