Ohio House of Representatives Photo
For years, conservative Ohio lawmakers have enacted stricter and stricter provisions limiting abortions. Now, a group of Republicans in the Ohio House say they're taking their opposition to abortion all the way.
A bill sponsored by State Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood would extend full legal protection to unborn fetuses and level murder charges against doctors who perform abortions.
The proposal has support from at least 21 of the House's 99 members — a sign it may have more chance of passage than a similar bill Hood introduced
last year that failed to move out of the House.
The legislation is almost certain to trigger legal battles should it pass, but also appears tailor-made to challenge Roe V. Wade, the historic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
“The time for regulating evil and compromise is over," Keller said in a statement about the legislation. "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."
Since President Donald Trump appointed two conservative justices to the high court, conservatives in a number of state legislatures including Georgia's and Mississippi's have been lining up bills designed to challenge Roe.
Some of those laws are already winding their way through the courts.
In April, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a controversial "heartbeat" bill that bans most abortions occurring roughly six weeks after conception. The law, one of the strictest in the country, is currently paused pending a legal challenge in federal court.
Pro-choice groups quickly shot back after Keller and Hood's proposed bill was announced today, calling its supporters "extremists."
“These politicians want a total ban on abortion, to classify any abortion as murder," NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a statement. "They want prosecutors to charge people who provide or receive abortion care with aggravated murder, which carries the death penalty. They would also remove protections for pregnant people who experience issues during pregnancy, and place individuals experiencing a miscarriage at risk of criminal prosecution. If all of that weren’t bad enough, these politicians don’t care that these kinds of bans could also ban some contraceptives and fertility treatments."
Should the bill pass the House, it would need to be approved by the Ohio Senate and signed by DeWine.
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