Ohio’s “Heart Beat Bill”: Women’s Reproductive Rights, Roe v Wade In Peril

While the LGBT community marches justly onward in our fight for marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights are facing a critical blow in that political hotspot breeding so much turmoil of late, Ohio.
By: Lily Shavick
June 29 2011 2:50 PM

The Ohio House of Representatives has advanced the “heartbeat bill” in a 54 to 43 vote.

This controversial, dangerous bill seeks to make abortion illegal from the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected--typically around the six or seven week mark-- before some women are even aware they’re pregnant. And, perhaps most distressing aspect is that the “heartbeat bill” outlines no exceptions, even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the woman’s health.

ThinkProgress.com warns, “This radical viability standard is unconstitutional, flouting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that forbids states from banning abortions until the fetus is viable, which is generally around 22 to 24 weeks.”

The bill advances following two fetuses “testifying” on behalf of the measure earlier this year.  In addition, bills that banned abortions “after 20 weeks if a doctor determines a fetus could survive outside the womb (presumably on life support as a very, very premature baby). And last but not least, it (the Ohio House) advanced a bill that forbids certain health insurers from covering abortion,” according to TheFrisky.com’s report.

The time to act is now; the trio of bills is headed to the Republican-controlled Ohio state Senate.

If you are in Ohio and want to get involved in efforts to stop this bill, contact Planned Parenthood, which divides the state into Northeast, Southwest and Central Ohio.

Contact Ohio Senators. Or, call Ohio Reps. Let them know this injustice is not well received:

Find your State Representative (go to Member Quick Search)

Call 1-800-282-0253 (Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) to leave a message for your Representative.

Follow-up with an e-mail to your Representative.

For more on why these issues are so important, check out Abortion Rights Are Lesbian Rights: Op-Ed By Ruthann Robson now.

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