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OPINION: Ohio bill to restrict abortion should pass

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The number of abortions in Ohio are at the lowest point in 40 years. Opinion writer Dawson Mecum says that can be taken further with the passage of Senate Bill 164. 

Ohio has recently been the epicenter for reproductive rights over the last couple of years. With the Ohio state government having a Republican supermajority, it’s only natural that the legislature would pursue issues that fight for the right of life. Ohio under Gov. John Kasich has had a few abortion bills signed into law that restrict abortions.

According to Ohio state law a minor must be accompanied by a guardian and have the guardian’s permission before being a subject of abortion. Ohio also had the Viability law that requires a doctor perform a viability test on the fetus to see if it can live outside the womb, and if it can abortion isn’t allowed. However this was overturned when Kasich signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law which bans abortions passed the 20 week mark unless the mother’s life is in danger. Along with this came the “heartbeat bill” that would have banned abortions once a heartbeat was detected. Kasich vetoed this bill stating it went against the federal supreme court’s ruling and he didn’t want to fight a battle he knew the state would lose.

The Ohio government is still pushing for more restrictions on abortion, Senate Bill 164 would restrict abortion of fetuses that have tested positive for Down Syndrome. This new senate bill is a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting the unborn.

According to the Ohio Department of Health.there were only 20,672 abortions performed in Ohio in 2016, the lowest number in the 40 years records have been kept, according to officials. The number reflects a steady decline that opposing sides of the debate attribute to different causes.

Pro-choice advocates, such as NARAL, claim the reason the abortion rate has lowered in Ohio is due to the affordability of different healthcare options for women. They also claim non-surgical abortion numbers rose with the access to new drugs such as MifePristone. However Pro-Life advocates, such as Ohio Right to Life, claim that it’s because of a change of culture in Ohio

Since Gov. Kasich has been in office, several bills have been signed that limit abortion procedures or close abortion facilities altogether. With these closings there will naturally be a declining number of abortions. The culture of Ohio is shifting towards a more pro-life approach and can be seen with the drop in the number of abortions in Ohio and the amount of bills that are being passed and/or written up. Ohio is putting life first. That is a good thing because no civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.

Many claim republicans are contradicting themselves claiming they don’t want the government to interfere in their lives, unless it involves a woman’s right to abortion. This however is untrue, the government’s main job is to protect life, liberty and property. Having the government intervene is not contradictory when it is well within the government’s stated power.

Senate Bill 164 would make it illegal to abort a fetus that has or may have Down Syndrome. Violators would face a fourth-degree felony. If convicted, the state medical board would take away a physician’s license to practice medicine in Ohio.

Some say this bill takes away the right for a woman to choose what she wants to do with her body. However, the real issue is the devaluing of life once it has been diagnosed with a mental illness such as Down Syndrome. All life is sacred and for someone to think about aborting a child just because of a condition they may develop is wrong. Just because someone has a mental illness or condition does not mean they are any less of a person. These people need the most protection when it comes to life. The argument that they are a burden on families that are not ready to handle the responsibility is a valid argument, but there is always someone in the world who can take care of and cherish that life even if you can’t. The right to life is an important right, if not the most important right, and Ohio is taking steps in the right direction to protect this.

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