Ohio Senate Hears Testimony On “Heartbeat” Abortion Ban

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


Nancy L.
Nancy L.4 years ago

Ridiculous - the state and fedl govt need to stay the hell out of the health industry. All of it.

Mandi A.
Ama A.4 years ago


Ryana Rogers
Ryana Rogers4 years ago

Yea Bonnie thats it huh? cause its easier its easier cause they have to listen and be judged from people like you and its easier because they may or may not feel guilty after? and bonnie its a fetus!

Pamela H.
Pamela H.4 years ago

Chad A, 'their clergy' ???

Pamela H.
Pamela H.4 years ago

IUD's were invented by men, and guess what, they continuously abort every month. They scrape around inside the uterus to dislodge anything that tries to attach itself to the wall, then the contents come away with menstruation. I don't hear the 'pro-lifers' screaming about IUDs.

Danielle K.
Danielle K.4 years ago

Lara, until a man can get pregnant and gestate a baby, and until men are willing to do their fair share in childcare, the decision should be the woman's. After all, SHE is the one risking her health, she is the one doing the majority of the childcare--still--and she is the one whose life will be affected by having the baby. He can claim he wants the baby, wants the baby, wants to be with the woman--and then walk away when it's too late for her to do anything about it. I would hope that these men are in the minority, but until and unless the woman is ready for motherhood, it's HER final decision, as it's HER life that will be affected.

As for sterilization, I would love to be sterilized, but even in my late 30s/early 40s, I was having trouble getting it done. One doctor suggested I try an IUD, which, really, I don't want. At my age and where I am in life, I don't see myself wanting a child. I barely have the maternal instinct to care for my cat.

Janet K.
Janet K.4 years ago

These anti-choice people only care about a baby until it is born.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

Why don't we take the radical step of letting women, in consultation with their husbands or boyfriends, their doctors, and their clergy decide instead of giving all power to the state to decide every case for every woman before the fact?

Lara Kinast
Lara Kinast4 years ago

Barbara- it's a humans right issue in theory, that is why other people "butt in". For people that believe that an embryo or fetus is a human being, the issue comes down to murder. You telling people to butt out is similar to saying "don't tell me not to abuse my child, it's my house, my rules". As for men, why should they stay out of it? It takes two people to conceive a child- what if the man DOES want *his* child? It gets complicated. Ideally he would have asked the woman whether she would be prepared to be a mother if she ever became pregnant, but barring that, does that mean that the male has no legal right to his unborn child? Yes, I am playing devil's advocate, but if the sex was consensual, then why doesn't he have a right to that embryo or fetus as the father? As for it being "your body"- I don't care what people do to their OWN bodies. The reason abortion is controversial is because the pregnant woman is literally destroying another's body. No, I am not pro-life. Just food for thought. It's not as simple as "I want to have sex, it's my body, if I don't want that embryo or fetus in there it's my right to kill it even though I created it in the first place..." Barring death and rape, pregnancies that result from consensual sex where the woman chooses to abort is always a case of lack of impulse control (barring rape or a medical emergency, can you honestly say ANYONE ends up at an abortion clinic because they planned their behavior responsibly like a grown up?). The ch

Lara Kinast
Lara Kinast4 years ago

Mercedes, I don't agree. I can't afford to house and care for everyone on death row (as just one example of how illogical that statement is) but I still oppose capital punishment/the death penalty. You can still desire people to take responsibility for their actions and be sincere about that, without necessarily being a billionaire. However, I think this proposed abortion ban is utter BS and agree that the majority of the supporters probably do see women as baby-machines. Life is life. I am not even pro-life. I wouldn't say I am rabidly pro-choice. Most people tend to fall into extremes on either side. There are some very difficult situations out there with no clear-cut answers. As an agnostic woman, I'd like to think that if women want to have sex during their child-bearing years and not get pregnant they should be sterilized (tubal ligation is insufficient, there is still a 1 in 300 chance of conceiving if the tubes "re-connect"). Pretty extreme view, but to end a life is pretty extreme and in *most* cases no one is forcing anyone to have sex. If you are not responsible enough to handle the responsibilities of your actions, you should be sterilized. Since that will never be passed, and there are already too many unwanted children in the world, I can't say I am *against* abortion.