Ohio leans towards punishing women that receive an abortion with the death penalty

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Ohio leans towards punishing women that receive an abortion with the death penalty

Megan A. '20, Writer

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As it moves through the Ohio House of Representatives, House Bill 565 is causing an uproar. If passed, women will be prohibited from having an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. A fetal heartbeat can be heard as soon as six weeks, when some women do not know they are pregnant. The bill exempts a woman if she is dangerously hurt or close to death.

House Bill 565 was introduced on March 19, but was referred to the Ohio committee on June 5. In 2016, a similar bill known as the Heartbeat Bill, or House Bill 258 was in Ohio’s Congress. The Heartbeat Bill passed through the Republican-dominated House by a vote of 60-35, but Gov. Kasich’s veto kept it from being passed. Although many have tried to overturn the veto, stood because it did not go back to Ohio’s Congress again for an override. Kasich has also threatened to veto House Bill 565 if it reaches his desk according to The Columbus Dispatch. Still, the Ohio House had enough votes to ban abortions after 20 weeks with Gov. Kasich’s approval.

“I do not need anyone in this building telling me what to do with my body. And so it is really, really, really unsettling that we have an obsession with telling people what to do with their body,” Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Howse said to the committee against the bill, according to Now This Her.

Rep. Howse is the representative of the 11th district in the Ohio House, and she is currently serving her second term.

Republican Reps. Ron Hood and A. Nino Vitale sponsor House Bill 565, along with 16 other Republican lawmakers who are co-sponsoring it. Yet, due to recent events such as the midterm elections, the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Gov. Kasich vetoing as the heartbeat bill, the Republican Party has received negative backlash on the new House Bill 565.

Midterm elections were a turning point for democrats this year, they has a strong support from women. Al while Republicans had a large backlash on major laws including immigration, healthcare, environment and government regulation. The nomination of Supreme Court Judge Kavanagh sparked the MeToo movement along with other female empowerment movements.

“We believe Ohio is best positioned to send this through the Circuit Courts and to the federal Supreme Court,” Republican Rep. Christina Hagan said according to The New York TimesRep. Hagan campaigned on behalf of President Trump, she has been in the Ohio House of Representatives for three terms. She represents Ohio’s 50th district which is part of Stark County in Ohio.
In Ohio, there are currently four major restrictions on abortion according to FindLaw.com. First is Ohio’s 24-Hour Informed Consent Law, in which women are required to obtain certain information concerning abortion with an authorized doctor 24 hours prior to receiving an abortion. They must also sign a form acknowledging they have received the information.

Second is the Affordable Care Act, which only gives permission to a women to get abortions in cases of when a woman’s life is endangered, or she was raped or involved with incest.

The Ohio Minor Law requires those under 18 to have a parent or legal guardian approve and accompany them to the appointment.

Finally, is the Ohio Viability Law which orders doctors to perform a viability test, otherwise known as Nuclear Medicine Thallium Viability Scan, before an abortion. The viability test assesses the blood flow to the heart on a fetus 20 or more weeks in development according to Hamilton Cardiology Associates.
House Bill 565 was approved by a vote of 60 to 35. The House came to the conclusion that an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat would result in a fifth-degree felony. The proposed bill now heads into the Ohio Senate. If approved, it will enact some of the nation’s strongest protection programs for the unborn. Women are not the only targets in this bill, however Doctors who perform an abortion on a fetus with a detected heartbeat could be sentenced up to a year in prison and fined $2,500 according to The New York Times.  House Bill 565 was currently passed through Ohio’s House of Representatives and Congress. The bill is now going to Gov. Kasich.