Once again the GOP supermajority in Ohio's House has passed another doomed "heartbeat bill" as with the last couple of years, unable to get enough of a margin to beat a guaranteed veto by Gov. Kasich. This time around though they're considering a new bill, one that would criminalize all abortions and miscarriages in the state.
There’s been a lot of attention given to the contentious “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion at the point that a fetal heartbeat can be detected, since it passed the Ohio House earlier this week. But Republican lawmakers are considering another bill during this lame-duck session that would ban abortions entirely.
HB 565, which was introduced in March, would allow criminal charges against both doctors and pregnant women seeking abortions. It would characterize an “unborn human” as a person under Ohio’s criminal code, meaning abortions could be punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty.
There are no exceptions even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to a woman’s life.
Jaime Miracle with NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says the bill would punish both women and doctors. NARAL and Planned Parenthood are spending money on advertisements opposing the bill.
“This could criminalize women who have miscarriages that might seem suspicious to somebody or could criminalize in-vitro fertilization procedures that might end up with an embryo," Miracle says.
This is all cover for the heartbeat bill, which is headed for the Ohio Senate, and an eventual date for incoming Gov. Mike DeWine's desk. DeWine has said in the past that he will sign the bill into law, setting up the endgame for Roe v. Wade in a Supreme Court battle that could very well be the end of safe abortions for most women in the US.
It's the fight they've wanted for years and will almost certainly get in 2019 or 2020.