Ohio’s proposed near-total abortion ban mimics Texas law but goes further

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  • Photo by Graham Stokes for the Ohio Capital Journal
  • Over 1,000 people gathered at the Statehouse for the National Women’s March focusing on reproductive rights. The planned walk to Goodale Park was changed to a tour around the city center due to the high attendance on Saturday October 2, 2021.

A new abortion ban bill created in conjunction with a Virginia-based anti-abortion group has been introduced in Ohio that mimics a Texas law currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, but will further by proposing to ban almost all abortions.

State Representative Jena Powell, R-Arcanum, presented Bill 480 Tuesday, which allows civil actions against anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct which aids or encourages the accomplishment or inducement of an abortion,” including paying for an abortion even through insurance , according to the wording of the bill. Thomas Hall State Representative R-Madison Twp. Is also a sponsor.

The bill allows a defense against a civil action for abortions “designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother and the doctor has made medical efforts reasonable in the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.

In announcing the bill, Powell called the Roe v. Wade of the 1973 United States Supreme Court that legalized abortion nationwide in “constitutional fiction,” saying his bill “uses the enforcement mechanism of the Texas Heartbeat Act, which is currently the subject of of a legal challenge with the United States. Supreme Court.

While the Texas case revolves around detecting a noise during ultrasounds in early pregnancy that doctors describe as electrical activity and anti-abortion advocates call a heartbeat – a characterization that doctors deem inaccurate – the legislation proposed by Powell does not have such a standard and would constitute a total ban on abortion. With 33 Republican cosponsors alongside the two sponsors, support for the bill represents more than half of the GOP caucus.

The bill comes after Powell spoke at an event in Los Angeles for LiveAction, an Arlington, Va., Based anti-abortion nonprofit that said it associates with “leaders of across the country, starting with Representative Powell “in conjunction with the launch of their campaign. .

“The campaign, which began in front of thousands at the Santa Monica Pier, aims to make every American know that abortion is the leading killer of children, and ultimately save every child,” LiveAction said in a press release on the invoice.

The CDC does not list abortion as the leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14. It lists accidents, “birth defects, deformities and chromosomal abnormalities” and cancer as the main causes in children aged 1 to 9, with intentional self-harm (suicide) replacing birth problems as the main cause in children aged 10. at 14.

Ohio Abortion Report 2020 from the Ohio Department of Health revealed 20,605 abortions in 2020, more than half of which were induced within nine weeks of gestation. Of the 441 induced abortions within 19 weeks or more of gestation, none were considered viable in medical tests, including ultrasound scans.

Abortion is legal in Ohio until 22 weeks gestation.

Ohio family planning advocates say the abortion ban would be catastrophic for communities in Ohio.

“Lawmakers and anti-abortion vigilantes don’t have to make personal medical decisions for their neighbors,” said Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy for the PPAO.

Advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said the bill would have “dangerous” impacts on already marginalized communities in the state and continue a trend targeted for elected officials in the state.

“If all the dominoes fall in the wrong direction, abortion could be illegal in Ohio by July,” NARAL executive director Kellie Copeland said in a statement. “All pro-choice Ohioans must register and vote.”

The bill enjoys the support of all Republicans, which gives it a better chance of being passed by the Republican supermajority of the legislature.

The abortion ban is one of the many abortion laws that are making their way into the Ohio General Assembly. A “trigger” bill that would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade’s overturned is currently in Senate committee, and a bill targeting what sponsors have called “failed” abortions, a statistically rare event in Ohio, has been passed by the state Senate and is being directed to review by the House.

Originally published by the Ohio Capital Newspaper. Republished here with permission.

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