Pro-Life Group Pushing Heartbeat Bill to Senate
A new pro-life coalition was formed at Ohio’s state courthouse yesterday, known as Ohio Prolife Action.
Ohio ProLife Action was formed to push a controversial piece of legislation known as House Bill 125 or the Heartbeat Bill. The bill prohibits abortion procedures for women starting when the fetus has a detectable heartbeat. The bill passed the Ohio House in June 2011 and now Ohio ProLife Action aims to push it through the Senate.
This announcement underlines the group’s break from pro-life coalition Ohio Right to Life. Ohio Right to Life does not back the Heartbeat Bill, believing that the legislation won’t overturn Roe v. Wade and will further enforce a women’s right to an abortion.
ProLife Action believes HB125 combats a human rights issue and the group intends on getting the votes. In Wednesday’s press conference, members of the new coalition voiced their mission,
“We want to go after Roe v. Wade. This is an attack directly on the federal law. We want to bring it down,” said Mark Harrington, member of Prolife and Executive Director of Created Equal.
Opponents of the bill, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, believe that it doesn’t matter who pushes the bill, the importance lies within how women will be affected.
“There may be conflict within anti-choice groups but their end goal is the same,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Ohio. “It takes away a woman’s right to make a personal, private decision by completely outlawing the ability to have a safe and legal abortion.”
As the bill’s future in the Ohio Senate is still uncertain, recent legislation concerning a woman’s choice passed in September. Senate Bill 63 proposes that a minor must go through a more rigorous judicial process to receive an abortion without parental consent. Under the bill, the judge must ask the minor if she understands the emotional and physical impact of the procedure and then verify that her answers have not been rehearsed.
In addition, the minor must receive approval from the county court in which she resides to prevent her from searching for courts for an “easier” grant. Republicans in support of the bill state that it’s the best way to keep judges in line, ensuring they aren’t too lenient in their minor cases involving abortion.
Copeland disagrees with SB 63, stating that although parental consent is encouraged by NARAL, it is not always a real option for a minor.
“This bill is motivated by politics at the expense of young women’s health and safety,” said Copeland in a press release. “Most teens talk to their parents when facing an unintended pregnancy, which is ideal, but this bill does not acknowledge that there are circumstances, such as a violent home, where telling her parents is not a safe option.”
Ohio’s progression toward a more conservative stance seems to follow a wave of anti-abortion groups sweeping the country. There is a current push to bring similar legislations to the federal level. The bill is being pushed by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota, who introduced the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act to the House yesterday, a piece of legislation forcing a woman to see and listen to her child’s heartbeat before an abortion. It strives to end abortion care.
Copeland said the problem lies within the political atmosphere to end abortion care rather than providing optimal education to make procedures pointless.
“This entire attack on women’s health has gone into full swing since last year’s election when the GOP took over the House and Senate. It’s now important to end abortion altogether, rather than giving access to the proper education and family planning … both that could make abortion completely unnecessary.”