2 Fetuses Called As Witnesses in Ohio Court. Say What?

Yes, you heard me right. I just read that two fetuses were called as witnesses in an Ohio courtroom. It sounds laughable, doesn’t it? I mean, seriously. How can a fetus be a witness?

But this is no laughing matter.

These fetuses little heart beats offered “expert testimony” before the Health Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives last Wednesday. They were shown to legislators in a crowded courtroom via ultrasound projector so everyone could see and hear their beating hearts as testimony for what they are calling “The Heartbeat Bill,” or HB 125.

HB 125, a blatant attempt to overthrow Roe vs. Wade, would ban abortion as soon as a heartbeat could be detected (which usually happens at about 5 ½ weeks of gestation, only 3 ½ weeks after conception actually occurs). Many people don’t even know they’re pregnant at this point, since they may only be a few days late for their period.

This bill is just the latest in a slew of Republican-driven attempts to undermine a woman’s right to choose. I also read about another bill, HR 3 (the “No Taxpayer Paying For Funding Of Abortion” bill) threatens to pull all public funding for abortion, including having Medicaid pay for pregnancy termination (if a woman keeps the baby, however, Medicaid will cover her much more expensive pregnancy.)

The scariest part of HR 3 is that it makes an exception for women who have been forcibly raped. Date rape doesn’t count. Neither does statutory rape, even if you’re twelve and some 25 year old dude knocked you up. But if you’ve been drugged, bound, and held at gunpoint while whipped, you can get your abortion.

Since when did we start redefining rape in such demeaning ways?

What Is Happening to Women’s Rights?

When I read about things like this, I feel sort of lost. In fact, it makes me want to defect and move to Canada. What is the matter with us? Why do we feel the need to question a woman’s right to choose in this way?

If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one. Period. But DO NOT make me live in a country where the government gets to decide whether I keep my baby, even if I’ve been non-forcibly raped. Do not make me live in a country where fetuses are called as witnesses in court.  Do not force me to raise my daughter in a society that devalues her, that diminishes her right to make choices about her own body, that wants to control her just because she has a uterus.

I’ve told you before how conflicted I feel about abortion, as an OB/GYN and as a woman. I’ve told you how I’ve made peace with my own values regarding this issue. So I won’t repeat myself.

But suffice it to say that we must, simply MUST, keep the government from making choices about whether a woman must become a mother. Nobody has the right to make that decision but the woman herself. Nobody.

What do you think? Does this rile you up? Do you agree with these bills? How will you vote?

Standing for women everywhere,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.commotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.



Ericka B.
Ericka B.4 years ago

This actually upset me. You had the choice of unprotected sex or not. You knew the possible outcomes and you did it anyways, that was your choice and you made your decision. Don't try to blame the government because you don't want to accept responsibility for your actions. Unless you were raped, you had a choice, live with it. POINT BLANK PERIOD!!

Everyone has their own thoughts, this is mine.

daisy p.
daisy p.4 years ago

abortion shouldnt even be an issue that is disscussed like its wrong, its a personal choice. and just like gay marriage, if you dont like them, then dont have one

Evelyn M.
Evelyn M.4 years ago

Just a comment about adoption. Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Vietnam, I inquired about adopting a child. Was told "you already HAD 3 children, you're not eligible to adopt". This was in Alabama. Don't know what the criteria is now or in any states.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

also, i believe that if women werent supposed to have the ability to choose when to have kids then there wouldnt be plants that have strong abortive properties that will induce a miscarriage if taken.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

the thing i find most apalling about you jesus-freak pro-lifers is you all seem so hell bent on denying human nature, "accepting the outcome" and giving birth to anything concieved but ive yet to see any of you offering to adopt these fetuses that will be aborted. its like, DONT ABORT IT!! OK NOW ITS HERE, DONT CARE ABOUT IT ANYMORE!! seriously, i constantly hear you guys say all kids should be born but dont seem to understand many of these fetuses are aborted for damn good reasons. no one is actually ready to become a parent, they just think they are, but many women look at their fiances, where their life is, and ask themselves a lot of questions before hand. i know some of them just dont want kids and have the abortion anyway. there needs to be better education on birth control but the reality is sometimes it fails. we cannot pretend that people should wait to have sex because some book says we should, and i find faith in this book laughable. this book was written by sheep herders who believed all the animals on the face of the earth lived within walking distance of Noah's home. Or that the faith put into this book is actually nit-picking what rules to follow. maybe god really doesnt want people to eat pigs and shave and wants us to stone rebelous kids. i say free your mind, dont believe things just because its in a book, listen to your heart and dont impose on others' choices and life.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

Susan, you are a moron. Not everyone within a marriage wants kids, some of these people in a marriage find out they are pregnant with a fetus that has a major birth defect or a disease that cripples their quality of life. and not everyone who's having sex outside of marriage is doing it just to feel good. they are doing it because they love each other but arent sure they are ready for the commitment or they just dont want to get married. and what about someone who doesnt get married until they are 40? it is naive to expect them to wait. reality is, denying something that is primal and within us is just crazy. honestly, i have found people who go longer without sex after about the age of 21 start becoming more and more socially akward and just plain out weird, not because they are waiting but because they are missing out on something vital in adulthood called sexuality and a true sense of it. you have a right to your beliefs but you dont have the right to impose those beliefs on others.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black4 years ago

Interesting that fetuses can give testimony that moves lawmakers, when real life living born babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents who are living in poverty and need medical care can't convince Republican lawmakers to provide the full amount of medicaid or available foodstamps. After birth, the Republicans make such statements as "Women shouldn't have babies they can't afford to feed, clothe, house, educate, or provide healthcare." Huh, have they gone brain-dead and forgot they wouldn't allow these women to have contraception or an abortion? Sad!

Ellie Damann
.4 years ago

if abortion is outlawed, women will start dying on their table from giving themselves bortions with coat hangers like the movie "if these walls could talk"

Ellie Damann
.4 years ago

if abortion is outlawed, women will start dying on their table from giving themselves bortions with coat hangers like the movie "if these walls could talk"

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.