The Ohio House just voted to ban abortion after just six weeks, which would basically make abortion illegal — many pregnant people wouldn't even know they were pregnant in time to make arrangements for an abortion.
This draconian ban would be devastating for abortion access in Ohio, but these cruel legislators don't want to stop there: They're freely admitting that this is about getting an abortion ban before an anti-choice Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.
The very name of this bill is a grandstand designed to play on emotions: The short title of the bill is "Prohibit abortion if unborn has detectable heartbeat." Lawmakers think non-viable fetuses are morally equivalent to human beings, and one legislator even brought her twin babies on the floor with her to passionately argue "we all have a beating heart."
There are no exceptions for rape or incest in this law. Nor is there any recognition that as many as 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, many within the first 13 weeks, highlighting the fact that a developing fetus in early pregnancy is neither biologically nor ethically equivalent to a fetus who can survive outside the uterus (generally survivability starts at around 20 weeks, though survival rates for preemies this small are very low).
This bill will come before the Ohio Senate for a vote, and if it passes, Governor John Kasich will be asked to sign it. While the Senate has a Republican majority, those Republicans need to decide whether they want to approve a heartless bill that will cause suffering for pregnant people and families, or say "no" to legislation that threatens freedom of choice, imperils access to health care, and devalues actual living children in need of social supports.
Banning abortion increases the probability that pregnant people will risk everything to terminate an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. Ohio residents deserve better, and so do people across the U.S. who could be harmed by the fallout of this legislation.
Photo credit: Luke Anscombe