COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two Republican lawmakers in Ohio have proposed a bill that would outlaw abortion in the state.
Reps. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and Ron Hood, R-Ashville, introduced House Bill 413 on Nov. 15, and it is currently pending before the House Criminal Justice Committee.
“No person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, perform or have an abortion,” the bill reads in part. “A court shall regard the unborn child victim of an aggravated abortion murder or abortion murder as a person who is less than thirteen years of age.”
There are no exceptions to the legislation, and in situations where the woman’s life may be perceived to be in danger, the physician is to take “all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman.”
Abortionists who illegally take the lives of children in the womb could be sentenced to life in prison without parole, being subject to already existing murder statutes that would be amended to include abortion.
“The time for regulating evil and compromise is over,” Keller remarked in a statement. “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable right to life. Only respect for life can be the foundation of a free society that supports peace, justice and integrity.”
A number of Republican lawmakers are backing the bill as co-sponsors, including Rep. John Becker of Union Township, Sen. Kris Jordan of Ostrander, Rep. Mark Romanchuk of Ontario, Rep. Susan Manchester of Waynesfield, Rep. Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky, Rep. Jena Powell of Arcanum, Rep. Phil Plummer of Butler Township, and Rep. Tracy Richardson of Marysville.
Abortion advocacy groups have deemed the bill to be an attempt to take away the “reproductive freedom” of pregnant mothers.
“Every abortion ban and medically dubious regulation shares the same goal as this bill — to outlaw abortion and strip Ohioans of their reproductive freedoms,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement. “Ohioans won’t surrender their bodily autonomy to these extremists.”
Ohio Right to Life has also expressed reluctance to get behind the effort, stating that while it supports the end result of banning abortion, it believes the “heartbeat bill” signed earlier this year by Gov. Mike DeWine will be more successful in the courts.
“Ohio Right to Life will not be getting involved in the bill, though we share their ultimate goal of ending all abortion,” Executive Director Stephanie Ranade Krider stated, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
“We sympathize with those who feel frustrated by how long it’s taken even to get to this point — it was just two years ago that pain-capable babies became protected by the law in the womb,” she said. “[The state group] has been working to defend life and end abortion for over 50 years, but we believe the heartbeat bill before the courts now is the best vehicle to overturn Roe, and we will be watching carefully as it progresses in the courts.”
As previously reported, even in early America, the belief that abortion is murder and should be accordingly outlawed was not uncommon.
Philadelphia legal writer, educator and Christian apologist Francis Wharton, who wrote several books on American law, penned an entire chapter on abortion in his book “American Criminal Law,” published in 1855.
Wharton called abortionists “persons who are ready to degrade their humanity to this occupation” and stated in regard to abortion in general, “Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned, and is the more deserving of receiving the punishment awarded for the criminal offense in question.”
In 1850, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court became the first high court in the nation to declare that abortion must be prohibited at any stage of gestation for any reason. While other state courts allowed preborn babies to be aborted up to four months of gestation by reason of a “quickening” theory, which stated that a person was not protected until the mother felt them kicking in the womb, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would accept no such argument.
In Mills v. Commonwealth, the court declared that the theory “is not … the law in Pennsylvania, and ought never to have been the law anywhere.” The ruling became a strong precedent that other state courts began to review and follow.
By the 1900’s, due to the influence of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, nearly every state in the nation prohibited abortion for any reason, with the exception of Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina.