Ohio Republicans are back at it again, with yet another bill that not only criminalizes abortion by legally defining the procedure as murder, but makes the new crime of "aggravated abortion murder" punishable by death. And somehow, the bill gets worse.
A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.
This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.
The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of the country as conservative Republican politicians seek to ban abortion and force a legal showdown on abortion with the supreme court.
Ohio’s move on ectopic pregnancies – where an embryo implants on the mother’s fallopian tube rather than her uterus rendering the pregnancy unviable – is one of the most extreme bills to date.
“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” wrote Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr David Hackney on Twitter. “We’ll all be going to jail,” he said.
An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition, which can kill a woman if the embryonic tissue grows unchecked.
In addition to ordering doctors to do the impossible or face criminal charges, House Bill 413 bans abortion outright and defines a fertilized egg as an “unborn child”.
It also appears to punish doctors, women and children as young as 13 with “abortion murder” if they “perform or have an abortion”. This crime is punishable by life in prison. Another new crime, “aggravated abortion murder”, is punishable by death, according to the bill.
The bill is sponsored by representatives Candice Keller and Ron Hood, and co-sponsored by 19 members of Ohio’s 99-member House.
This bill is absolute insanity, but if Roe v. Wade is struck down by SCOTUS, and states are allowed to define their own abortion laws like this, it will be horrific. Here's hoping it will die in the state Senate and that Gov. Mike DeWine will veto it, but let's remember DeWine signed the six-week heartbeat bill into law as one of his first acts this year, and it's currently going through the courts on the way to SCOTUS.
We'll see what becomes of this, but understand that if things shake out the way I think they will, there's a good chance by this time next year that abortion will be illegal and punishable by the death penalty in several states.
Ohio may very well be one of them.