A proposed bill sponsored by State Reps. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and Ron Hood, R-Ashville, would extend full legal protection to unborn fetuses and level murder charges against doctors who perform abortions in Ohio.
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The two lawmakers have introduced House Bill 413, legislation that would ban all abortions in the state, criminalizing abortions by charging with murder any medical doctors who perform the procedure.
According to details in the proposed bill, it would include provisions to protect doctors who perform lifesaving procedures and treatments on pregnant women that result intentionally in the termination of the pregnancy.
The bill would require approval from the full Ohio House and Senate, which are both Republican controlled, as well as Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature in order to become law.
Keller released a statement regarding House Bill 413, stating that she hopes abortion will be banned in its entirety.
“The time for regulating evil and compromise is over,” Keller stated. “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable Right to Life. Only respect for life can be the foundation of a free society that supports peace, justice and integrity.”
Meg Whitman, executive director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, called the proposed bill visionary.
“The most important aspect of this visionary legislation is the recognition that unborn children are human beings from conception, and should be afforded the equal protection of our laws,” Whitman said.
Chrisse France, the executive director of Preterm, Ohio’s largest abortion provider, said she feels the bill is a political stunt.
“I am deeply concerned by the news that under the cover of darkness, anti-abortion politicians in the Ohio Statehouse introduced a total abortion ban, which would criminalize abortion and hurt women,” France said. “Instead of making Ohio a safe place for women, children and families, Ohio politicians are focused on outlawing safe medical procedures and punishing people for seeking abortion care.”
She said she believes if House Bill 413 is passed, it will affect in a negative way the relationship between a doctor and patient.
“If this dangerous proposal becomes law, doctors and pregnant people could be charged with murder for abortion care, birth control, help during their miscarriage and fertility treatments,” France said. “Preterm is committed to fighting against this bill to ensure medical decisions are left between patients and their doctors, and that all people are treated with dignity and respect.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland added: “Every abortion ban and medically dubious regulation shares the same goal as this bill — to outlaw abortion and strip Ohioans of their reproductive freedoms. These politicians want a total ban on abortion, to classify any abortion as murder.”
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the “Heartbeat” bill in April, which would outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett eventually blocked the Heartbeat bill from taking effect, as opponents of the legislation argued it would effectively ban the procedure. That’s because a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant, he said.
Barrett said Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics represented by the American Civil Liberties Union that sued to stop the law “are certain to succeed on the merits of their claim that (the bill) is unconstitutional on its face.”
The judge joined the court in 2006 after being nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.