What is the Ohio “Heartbeat Bill,” and How Did it Come to Be?

It appears that the Ohio legislature’s 8-year wish will finally come true. The controversial “heartbeat bill” is poised to go into full effect in Ohio after both chambers of the Ohio legislature passed the resolution for the third time since it was first taken to the Ohio General Assembly floor. First introduced in Ohio in 2011, the bill was twice vetoed by former Ohio governor John Kasich, and failed to garner enough votes to override the veto both times. Now, with first-term governor Mike DeWine at the helm, the bill is sure to survive.

Passed as Ohio House Bill 68 and Senate Bill 23, the “heartbeat bill” makes abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as 5-6 weeks after pregnancy. The bill only permits abortion after a heartbeat is detected if a woman is experiencing a medical emergency. The bill does not provide an exception for rape or incest.

The controversial legislation was authored by Janet Porter, a pro-life activist who lobbied for the passage of the country’s first partial-birth abortion ban, and secured passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Law. Porter says she and others “literally crafted [the] legislation to be the arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade. It is made to come before the United States Supreme Court.” Anticipating the retirement (or worse) of the Court’s aging, liberal justices, Porter is hopeful that challenges to the bill will arrive at the Supreme Court when there are additional conservative justices that will uphold the bill once it is Ohio law and, perhaps, overturn Roe v. Wade.

Continue reading “What is the Ohio “Heartbeat Bill,” and How Did it Come to Be?”

“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

Cincinnati Law screens award-winning film 10/27 and welcomes filmmaker Dawn Porter.

“I feel like I can break at any moment.”

The woman quoted above is the mother of two boys, who are 13 months apart.  One is in third grade; the younger is autistic.  She is pregnant and feels “emotionally unfit” to take on the responsibility of another child.“Trapped,” a documentary by Dawn Porter, gives voice to this woman and others for whom the law has made a difficult choice more challenging.  Cincinnati Law screens this film Wednesday, October 27 in Room 118.  Continue reading ““Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine”