Law Politics State Ohio House introduces bill to outlaw abortions in the state By Abby Neff Posted on November 19, 2019 6 min read 0 0 126 Activists protest Ohio "Heartbeat Bill" at a pro-choice rally on steps of state legislature. Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Becker1999 Members of the the Ohio House of Representatives introduced a bill into committee late last week to outlaw abortion in the state with very few exceptions. If the bill were to pass, any medical provider that conducts an abortion procedure could be charged with murder, and women who receive an abortion could be criminally charged. The proposed legislation includes protections for doctors who accidentally terminate a pregnancy while performing life-saving treatments on pregnant women. “Whistleblowers” who grant police information regarding illegal abortions are also protected, which includes patients who receive an abortion then report the procedure to authorities. Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown) and Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville) are both primary sponsors of Ohio House Bill 413. The bill, which has 21 co-sponsors, is one of several anti-abortion measures recently introduced in the Ohio General Assembly. “In Ohio, we’ve done everything we can to protect life,” said Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “It is a major part of Ohio to protect citizens at the moment of conception.” Margie Christie, president of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO) and executive director of Dayton Right to Life, wrote in a statement that the bill aims to recognize any unborn child as a person with the same rights as a living human being. “This has been the goal of the grassroots pro-life movement since the disasterous Roe decision of 1973,” her statement said. “The organization supports the co-sponsors in protecting the life and health of every mother and child in Ohio.” Other organizations and members of the legislature, however, do not wish to support the bill and called the proposal an encroachment on womens’ constitutional rights. House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) released a statement via email Friday, calling the bill a “patently unconstitutional political stunt” that takes attention away from other issues important to her and her party, such as gun safety. “This latest abortion ban from extreme, right-wing lawmakers is the most brazen and absurd attempt yet to deny Ohio women their fundamental freedoms, to interfere with the patient-doctor relationship and disproportionately target communities of color across Ohio, she said. “In the past week, we’ve seen extremist lawmakers pass multiple anti-science bills to score political points, restrict our freedoms and expand big government into our most private conversations with our healthcare providers.” Ohio Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, will also support for the bill, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Stephanie Ranade Krider, vice president and executive director of the organization, told the Dispatch that, while her organization’s members are not involved in the creation of the bill, they still share the same goal — to end abortion in the state. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a statement: “Every abortion ban and medically dubious regulation shares the same goal as this bill — to outlaw abortion and strip Ohioans of their reproductive freedoms. … Ohioans won’t surrender their bodily autonomy to these extremists.” Gov. Mike DeWine signed the “Heartbeat Bill” –– a measure that banned abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat is detected –– into law in April earlier this year. The law prevents abortion prodecures at roughly six weeks into a pregancy. Rape and incest are not included as exceptions for premitting abortions. The only exception is if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger. The law was blocked by a federal judge after Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of Ohio and other organizations sued, according to The Washington Post. As of Monday, the bill was referred to the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee for review. Keller and Hood did not respond to The New Political’s request for comment at the time of publication.