Newly elected Governor Mike DeWine said Wednesday that he will “absolutely” sign the “Heartbeat Abortion” bill, should it come before his desk. The bill would ban all abortions following the first detection of a heartbeat in an unborn child. His predecessor, former Republican Governor John Kasich had twice vetoed the bill.
The issue came up during an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show, a nationally syndicated radio show hosted by Hugh Hewitt. While he praised Kasich for his many conservative accomplishments he said that he was “genuinely disappointed” that the governor refused to sign House Bill 258 which would have banned all abortions once a heartbeat is detected. Kasich did not agree with the substance of the bill but he felt that the ensuing legal battle would, not only fail but cost the state millions of dollars in legal fees.
The issue with such a ban is that the detection of a heartbeat is deeply dependent on available technology. With a general stethoscope, a doctor can confirm a heartbeat at nine weeks. With a transvaginal ultrasound, heartbeats can be detected within the first month. The generally agreed upon time, however, is six weeks. In spite of this, the proposed bill has found national support. As noted by Rewire;
During the 2017-2018 legislative sessions, heartbeat bans were introduced in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the U.S. Congress.
The few states that did manage to have such measures signed into law were immediately challenged in court. Not one has yet made it before the Supreme Court. One of the bill’s most prominent supporters, Janet Porter, has stated that is the intent of this bill to make the court reexamine the legality of abortion. It could potentially lead to a repeal of Roe V. Wade. In his interview, Gov. DeWine stated that welcomed this challenge;
this thing once it’s passed in Ohio, once we sign it, once it becomes law. Planned Parenthood is going to be in the next day, or that day, filing a lawsuit. But ultimately, this will work its way up to the United States Supreme Court. And they’ll make that decision.
While there is currently no such a bill being considered, Republican legislators are anticipated to introduce one in the coming months.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Governor Mike DeWine. Background Photo “Ohio Capital” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.