Now that Donald Trump has been elected, anti-choice advocates have tacked a heartless “heartbeat” bill onto a child abuse prevention bill and subsequently passed it.
In Ohio, anti-women advocates pushed for a law that would outlaw abortion after the heartbeat of a fetus is detectable (around 6 weeks). They knew it wouldn’t stand up to constitutional scrutiny. In fact, similar bills in two states have been found unconstitutional. This bill has no exceptions for the health of the mother, incest, or rape.
Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Kathy DiCristofaro said:
“this bill — which was tacked on as a last-minute amendment to a child abuse prevention bill — makes no exceptions for rape or incest victims. It is cruel and plainly unconstitutional — but it seems like Ohio Republicans don’t care about the Constitution. Trump’s vision for America is already alive and well in the Buckeye State.”
Did you think they would wait for his nomination to start attacking women’s rights? Why should they?
Officials of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio issued a statement saying:
“The unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, known as the ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ would block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant. The amendment has no exceptions in the bill for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman and would criminalize doctors who perform abortion procedures, regardless of the reason.”
The bill makes it a 5th-degree felony to perform an abortion without checking for or after detecting a fetal heartbeat.
Senate President Keith Faber (R), when asked why they suddenly decided to push the bill said: “A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward.” Faber is one of the anti-science, anti-women people who believe that life begins at conception, and all women should be forced to carry all fertilized eggs regardless of circumstance.
If you don’t think a Trump court will overturn Roe v. Wade, he was very clear that he was committed to appointing justices to the SCOTUS who want to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling affirming abortion rights. Republicans in Ohio actually have another 20-week abortion ban in the wings, one that is more likely to survive a SCOTUS challenge in the Trump era.
For 42 years, women had the right to end unwanted pregnancies safely. This election will be the end of that. Overturning Roe v. Wade is the clear goal of anti-choice groups. Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said his group been pushing for separate legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which was added last-minute to a House committee Tuesday could get a vote this week. They are neutral on the 6 week ban because they know that it has failed legal challenges before:
“Our ultimate goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade and we feel the 20-week ban is the best (legal) strategy. There is a reason no other state has a Heartbeat Bill.”
Republicans in Ohio have now fired the first shots at the Constitution. They won’t stop attacking women’s rights, (including the right to vote, for some Trumpers who cried to “repeal the 19th”). In fact, they are hip deep in propaganda calling a less than 2-inch long, unviable fetus that is the size of a shrimp “babies with beating hearts.” Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action who has pushed for passage of the bill for years, sometimes with unrelenting tactics including protests at members’ homes said:
“It’s a brand-new day with a Trump-appointed Supreme Court and we are very hopeful … we will see babies with beating hearts protected again.”
Supreme Court picks are for life, and there are three more justices that may be replaced in the next 4 years. Two of the current judges were appointed by President Clinton. The affectionately nicknamed “Notorious RBG,” Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 83-years-old, and Stephen Bryer is 78.
Even Bill Nye has come out to explain the science and ask people to “stop telling women what to do with their bodies.” What makes a “baby” is viability outside the womb. Not a “sound,” not that the cells and tissue have circulation. But that sound, the sound of blood circulating, at the absolutely unviable stage of 6-8 weeks, is going to be used as an arbitrary guideline to say where a woman’s rights end, and the fetus developing in her body becomes more important than she, herself, is.