Blog Post written by: Roshni – Kapur she can be reached at: email@example.com
Ohio passed new law banning abortion after six weeksDecember 23, 2016
Dubbed the “heartbeat” bill, the new law will not make a concession for cases of rape or incest.
Legislators in Ohio have approved a controversial “heartbeat” bill that prohibits abortion after a fetus’s heartbeat is detected that can be as early as six weeks after conception. The new bill will only make a concession if the woman’s life under a threat and not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
The law was passed after the Republican majority House of Representatives and Senate approved the bill. Ohio lawmakers are pushing for a countrywide reversal of a woman’s legal right to end their pregnancies.
The law has been sent to Ohio governor John Kasich to either sign or veto it. If Kasich signs the bill, it would be the biggest restriction on abortion in the US.
The “heartbeat” legislation can offer Ohio Republicans the chance to overturn the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade which gave women the right to have an abortion.
Republicans are also optimistic that the law can hold out a challenge in the Supreme Court given the fact that President-elect Donald Trump may receive one seat in the apex court.
A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward, Senate President Keith Faber was quoted in an online article on the Columbus Dispatch.
“It has a better chance than it did before”; Faber said of the bill’s chances of surviving a constitutional challenge.”
The new bill has drawn criticism from some women’s rights organisations who argue that many women are unaware that they are pregnant until the second month after missing their period which can stretch to eight weeks. Other women may realise that they are pregnant before the six-week cut but might not have access to abortive services since there is a dearth of clinics in Ohio.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said that they will challenge the bill if it becomes law. “If Governor Kasich signs that bill, we will absolutely challenge that in federal court,” Mike Brickner, senior policy director of ACLU Ohio was quoted in an online article on BuzzFeed News.
“We believe that it is unconstitutional,” he added.
The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organisation that pro-abortion rights said the “heartbeat” bill would be one of the most stringent abortion laws if implemented.
“Banning women from getting a medical procedure is out of touch with Ohio values and is completely unacceptable”: abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said in a statement.
Nationwide abortion was decriminalised by the US Supreme Court over four decades ago.
However some states in the US were given permission to practice certain constraints.
Many Republican-dominated states in the US have made bids in the past to outlaw abortion. In retrospect, the country’s lower courts have dismissed anti-abortion laws in North Dakota and Arkansas. The Supreme Court declined to even listen to appeals earlier this year.
Governor Kasich has a track record of opposing abortion. Ever since he assumed his governorship position in 2011, he has signed 17 anti-abortion bills to pass them as laws. Some of the anti-abortion measures include slashing funding from Planned Parenthood, criminalising public hospitals to execute abortions and making it compulsory for women to undergo ultrasounds before ending their pregnancy.