Ohio GOP lawmakers propose abortion ban echoing Texas law challenged in Supreme Court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER) – Republican lawmakers in Ohio want to replicate the abortion ban passed in Texas and facing a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bill 480, introduced Tuesday, would allow anyone to sue a doctor who performs an abortion or an individual who “aids or encourages” an abortion. Anyone who performs or witnesses an abortion is subject to a fine of at least $ 10,000 per abortion.

According to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer, the bill includes a broad definition of abortion, including a prohibition on administering, procuring or selling any device, drug or medication to terminate a pregnancy. The proposal would add to Ohio law the following wording: “All human beings are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

The bill goes further than Texas law by banning all abortions rather than just those after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The sponsors of the bill – Representatives Jena Powell, R-Arcanum and Thomas Hall, Township of R-Madison – call the bill “Law 2363” for the number of abortions performed daily in America. In 2018, 619,591 abortions were reported to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or nearly 1,698 per day, according to his last report.

Over 20,000 abortions were performed in Ohio last year, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Health.

“The sanctity of human life, born and preborn, must be preserved in Ohio,” Powell said in a statement. “Abortion kills children, stigmatizes families and harms women. We can and must do better. “

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said she was concerned that such a law could replace “anti-abortion vigilantes” in the state. A Madison County man was recently sentenced to 20 months in prison for posting death threats on the social media page of a nonprofit abortion support group.

“We know when things are criminalized black people, women of color and non-binary people are the most scrutinized,” Copeland said. “Other people who have the money will find a way to escape Ohio to get the care they need.”

Minority parliamentary representative Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement calling the bill “a flagrant assault on a woman” and “a dangerous attack on health care rights” as well as “embarrassment” for Ohio.

“Ohio Republicans want to control women, but we won’t be silent,” Sykes said. “The criminalization of care will have a disproportionate impact on women of color, non-binary people and those already disadvantaged in our health and criminal justice system. There are a lot of things Republicans could focus on like reducing maternal mortality, paid family leave, or universal pre-k, but once again, Republicans are showing that the daily needs of Ohioans are less. than scoring political points, likes and retweets.

Representative Lisa Sobecki, D-Toledo, said lawmakers should focus on ways to help families, such as improving access to affordable child care, rather than prohibiting abortions in the state. But she is not surprised that the Republicans introduced this bill.

“It was really only a matter of time before the Republicans introduced legislation like the one in Texas,” Sobecki said.

The proposal, which has 33 Republican cosponsors, is supported by the Right to Life Action Coalition and Created Equal, which often share graphic photos of aborted fetuses on posters. Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said he was reviewing the legislation. He said the organization was “laser-focused” on passing a trigger law banning abortion in the state if the landmark Roe v. Wade was canceled.

Texas law, which effectively ended abortions in the state amid a legal challenge, was reviewed by the United States Supreme Court on Monday. It is not known how quickly the court could rule.

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