Ohio Republicans on Wednesday introduced a bill calling for a total abortion ban in the state, going beyond the Texas “heartbeat” law currently under review by the Supreme Court. .
The bill, called law 2363, which lawmakers say is the number of children lost every day to abortion in the United States, seeks to ban all abortions in Ohio and, like Texas law, allows “any person.” to bring a civil action against an individual who performs an abortion or “knowingly engages in conduct which aids or encourages the making or inducement of an abortion.”
People who have filed such lawsuits will be allowed to claim $ 10,000 or more, depending on Cleveland.com.
The legislation does not include exceptions for rape or incest, but it would prevent abortion patients from being prosecuted by people who may have made them pregnant through rape or some other form of sexual violence.
Controversial Texas law prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks pregnant – a point where many women won’t know they are pregnant.
The United States Supreme Court is currently debating the Texas law, which sparked outrage across the country when it was enacted in September.
The judges previously rejected a request to block the law largely on ideological lines, but they are now giving the text another look.
The Ohio Bill, if passed and enacted, would prohibit defendants in civil proceedings from invoking ignorance or error of law as a defense, in addition to any personal belief that the legislation is unconstitutional.
In addition, the text says that defendants cannot invoke a court decision as a defense if it is subsequently overturned, even if it remained intact at the time of the abortion.
Ohio Rep. Jena Powell (R), who introduced the bill, said it was about protecting life.
“The sanctity of human life, born and preborn, must be preserved in Ohio,” Powell said, according to Cleveland.com. “Law 2363 aims to protect our fundamental and constitutional right to be born and to live. Abortion kills children, marks families and harms women. We can and must do better. “
Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (R) slammed the bill, calling it “a blatant assault on women, a dangerous attack on health care rights and embarrassment for our state, ”adding that“ Ohio Republicans want to control women, but we will ”don’t shut up.
“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. … Once again, Republicans are showing that the daily needs of Ohioans are less important than scoring political points, likes and retweets, ”Sykes said, according to Cleveland.com.
The Ohio State House has a Republican majority of 65 to 35.
A number of abortion rights groups have also condemned the bill.
Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said that “anti-abortion lawmakers and vigilantes don’t have to make personal medical decisions for their neighbors.”
“Ohio has once again proven itself to be one of the most extreme states for access to abortion. This bill goes beyond Texas Senate Bill 8, the nation’s most extreme abortion ban, and would ban all abortions. It allows anyone – including anti-abortion protesters unrelated to the patient – to act as paid bounty hunters and bring in doctors, health centers and anyone helping someone else. get abortion in court and get as much as $ 10,000. Banning abortion would be catastrophic for communities in Ohio, ”she added in a declaration.