Yesterday, the Ohio Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved three extreme anti-abortion bills in what women’s reproductive rights advocates are calling “anti-women’s day” in Ohio.
The Ohio House voted 54 to 43 along party lines to pass the heartbeat bill, which would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected, which may be as early as 6 weeks gestation when many women do not even know they are pregnant yet. Representative Connie Pillich (D-OH) stated, “This bill gives the government the ultimate power, the ultimate power to intrude upon the most personal and intimate decisions of our lives, of women’s lives, frankly.”
According to Reuters, Ohio Right to Life has voiced its concerns about the constitutionality of the bill, which challenges the US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade giving women the right to obtain an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is typically around 24 weeks. The bill will now go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass, and be signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich.
The House also voted 64 to 32 on an anti-abortion bill, backed by Ohio Right to Life, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable. In addition, the House voted 59 to 39 to exclude coverage in private insurance policies for abortion services in the to-be-set-up insurance exchange for the Affordable Care Act, even when people pay for it with their own money. These bills will go to the state Senate, where they are expected to pass.
Media Resources: Reuters 6/28/11; Columbus Dispatch 6/28/11