The Ohio senate is finally hearing testimony on the bill that will attempt to ban all abortions from the moment a heartbeat can be detected, usually at four weeks post conception. The bill had been stalled in the senate after easily passing the House during the summer, recently dislodged due to pressure from a growing number of state anti-abortion groups hoping that the measure will be used to challenge Roe V. Wade.
Supporters of the ban spoke last week, urging the senate to pass the bill and making claims that although they wanted to ban all abortion, this was a good first step, and that although they know the bill is unconstitutional, it is necessary in order to finally get a court challenge that will be heard by the Supreme Court.
This week, it is the opposition’s chance to testify against the bill, lead by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s Kellie Copeland. “This radical ban would outlaw abortion at a point in pregnancy when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant. This measure would virtually eliminate access to legal abortion in Ohio. It does not even provide exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, to protect the pregnant woman’s health or in cases of fatal fetal anomalies.”
But it wasn’t just reproductive health advocates who object to the ban, but doctors and even clergy, too. Legislators also spoke out, asking their colleagues to focus on programs that stop unwanted pregnancies if they really want to focus on ending abortion.
Testimony will continue today, which you can follow on twitter here. However, the bill itself is likely not to be voted on until sometime in 2012, due to a list of changes presented by both sides of the issue that would need to be reviewed, including 20 presented by the bill’s key supporter, Ohio ProLife Action.
Photo credit: Six week embryo via wikimedia commons