Extremists in Ohio Pursue Anti-Choice Agenda

An Ohio lawmaker has introduced a bill that has become increasingly pushed by anti-choice activists – one banning abortion at the detection of a fetal heartbeat.

If successful, such a law would outlaw almost all abortion as early as 6 weeks, before many women even realize they are pregnant.  The fetal heartbeat bears no relation to the point of viability, and explicitly contradicts the Supreme Court ruling set forth in Roe v. Wade.

So-called heartbeat bills have dramatically increased in popularity over the last several years.  North Dakota passed a similar bill last year but the courts have blocked the law’s enactment.  Similar bills have been introduced in states such as Mississippi and Kentucky, though are seemingly unlikely to go anywhere at the moment.  The introduction of the restrictive Ohio legislation also came just a day before a federal judge struck down a slightly less restrictive heartbeat bill in Arkansas.  Of course, the anti-choice advocates for the bill are fully aware that the restrictions are blatantly unconstitutional, but anti-choice leaders continue to spend time and taxpayer money attempting to restrict individual rights without concern for the practical consequences.

Ohio’s proposed bill also reflects the current decline in women’s reproductive health throughout the Buckeye state.  A number of healthcare clinics have already closed due to regulations that require abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, but ban public hospitals from granting such privileges.  As women lose access to these clinics, especially in rural areas, restrictive anti-choice bills will become increasingly dangerous.

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