COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lawmakers in Ohio have passed a bill banning abortions when a heartbeat is detected, sending the legislation to the desk of Gov. John Kasich for signing.
The Unborn Heartbeat Protection Act was approved by the Senate 21-10 on Tuesday, being attached as an amendment to a child abuse bill. It then passed the House 56-39.
“A person who intends to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman shall determine if there is the presence of a fetal heartbeat of the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying according to standard medical practice,” the Act reads in part.
“Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this division, no person shall perform an abortion on a pregnant woman prior to determining if the fetus the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable fetal heartbeat,” it declares, punishing violators with up to a year of jail time and/or other disciplinary action.
Fetal development experts state that an infant’s heart begins beating just 20-25 days after conception.
“This is just flat out the right thing to do,” said state Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander, who introduced the bill. “It affords the most important liberty of all: the opportunity to live.”
“Republicans are united that abortion is unacceptable in America,” Congressman Warren Davidson also remarked in a statement. “Our party platform advocates for a complete ban on abortion and states that ‘the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.'”
“The protections provided in the Unborn Heartbeat Protection Amendment are a step in the right direction in protecting the most vulnerable among us—the unborn,” he said. “I look forward to this becoming law and saving countless lives in Ohio.”
However, pro-abortion groups have denounced the bill as prohibiting women from receiving “medical care.”
“Once a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs access to safe, legal health care in her community. This bill would effectively outlaw abortion and criminalize physicians that provide this care to their patients,” Kellie Copeland of NARAL said.
“One in three women choose to have an abortion in their lifetime, and seven in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion care. Banning women from getting a medical procedure is out of touch with Ohio values and is completely unacceptable,” she asserted.
Gov. Kasich has up to 10 days to take action on the measure. He has not yet indicated whether or not he plans to sign the bill, although he has identified himself as pro-life, with the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
As previously reported, in an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge explained that if a woman were to come to a medical doctor in pursuit of an abortion, “he must, as it were, grasp the conscience of his weak and erring patient and let her know in language not to be misunderstood that she is responsible to her Creator for the life of the being within her.”
“So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject. So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in opposition to the laws of God and man,” he said.
“The procuring abortion is ‘a base and unmanly act,'” Hodge also said, quoting in part text from a court ruling of his day. “It is a crime against the natural feelings of man, against the welfare and safety of females, against the peace and prosperity of society, against the divine command ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ It is murder.”