Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Abortion 'Heartbeat' Bill Moves in Ohio House

An Ohio state legislative committee has approved the “Heartbeat Bill” that would ban virtually all abortions in the state starting at the 22-day mark when an unborn child’s heart begins beating.

For background, read Ohio GOP Challenge Roe v. Wade

-- From "Ohio House panel OKs anti-abortion Heartbeat Bill" by Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press 3/30/11

A state House committee on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill that would impose the strictest abortion limit in the nation, outlawing the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

Supporters led by Janet Folger Porter, the director of the Faith2Action network of pro-family groups and a former legislative director of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, have hoped aloud that the bill sparks a legal challenge to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.

Porter has led a charge to line up a host of high-profile supporters for the bill. They have included Cincinnati physician Jack Willke, a former president of the National Right to Life Committee and founder of the International Right to Life Federation, and Phil Burress, whose Citizens for Community Values led the charge to ban gay marriage, among others.

The Roe v. Wade ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a woman's right to an abortion until fetal viability. A fetus is usually considered viable at 22 to 24 weeks. Fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ohio Cmte OKs Heartbeat Bill Banning Abortions, Pro-Lifers Split" by Steven Ertelt, 3/30/11

The bill has divided the pro-life community in Ohio with Porter’s group supporting it along with Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Cincinnati Right to Life, Bobbi Radeck, state director of Concerned Women for America, and Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, supporting the measure.

But Marshal Pitchford, chairman of the Ohio Right to Life Society, says the legislation is problematic because it would not be upheld in court thanks to the 5-4 pro-abortion majority currently on the Supreme Court. If the bill is declared unconstitutional, Right to Life is concerned current pro-life laws that limit abortions and have saved lives would be overturned as well and result in an increase in the number of abortions.

Some “heartbeat bill” proponents say they followed the advice of several legal scholars when they drafted this bill, including a Cleveland State University professor but Pitchford says the same professor stated that the “heartbeat bill” should not be passed now and prefers to see a post viability ban be passed first or, otherwise, it would be “irresponsible and self-defeating to our cause” and could create additional legal problems for a total ban on abortion.

Gov. John Kasich, who is pro-life, has yet to take a position on the legislation.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.