Opinion Social Justice State OPINION: Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill” protects unborn babies’ right to life By Charlotte Caldwell Posted on November 21, 2018 6 min read 0 0 215 Photo by James McNellis Opinion writer Charlotte Caldwell argues every fetus has a right to life, and Ohio should pass the “Heartbeat Bill” to protect this right. A controversial abortion ban that would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is as early as six weeks, passed in the Ohio House on Nov. 15 and is now moving on to the Ohio Senate. This was one of the only abortion bills that has been rejected by Governor John Kasich two years ago. The bill that he favored instead was a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks except if the mother’s life is in danger. Although Kasich claimed that the 20 week abortion ban was “the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life,” very few abortions are performed after 20 weeks, so the bill does not do much to protect the right to life. At the 20-week mark of pregnancy, the baby is already the size of a mango and is well underway in the development process. This is also the stage where a parent can know the gender of their baby. If a baby were to be aborted at this stage and many weeks before this, it will not only have been just an unborn fetus with no rights, but a human being with no choice in the matter as to whether they are permitted to live. Some exceptions to the bill are considered, like if the pregnant woman is facing death or suffering an impairment of a major bodily function. One of the flaws of the bill is that it doesn’t allow victims of sexual assault or domestic violence to abort past six weeks, which should be legal under certain circumstances, like if the baby would be in danger of being taken by the assaulter after birth. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected similar proposals in other states, such as Arkansas and North Dakota. However, since President Trump recently added two conservative justices to the Court, the Ohio bill may have a better chance of being permitted. Future Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also supports the Heartbeat Bill and said he would sign it if it gets re-proposed when he takes office, should it not pass through Kasich. In DeWine’s official stance, he said, “I believe that the essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable members of society. That includes the unborn.” This stance is promising for the future of Ohio’s abortion debate and will deter doctors from performing abortions that will kill a baby with a potential for greater things in the future. With this bill, there will also be a greater opportunity for babies to be put up for adoption and have a chance at experiencing life. There are many families who adopt that are responsible and are fully capable of caring for a child, but they couldn’t become parents. Some families also have a long wait before they are finally matched with a child they can love and nurture forever. Adoption is overall a more viable option than abortion, and if less children were aborted as a result of this bill, families will be given a chance they would otherwise never have. Aborting a baby could be aborting a human being that should have fundamental human rights along with the rest of us. A baby that could have a bright future and someone that we could all benefit from in society; someone that may make a difference one day.