129th General Assembly
ANTI-WOMEN FETUS HEART BEAT BILL-OPPOSE
SUB. H.B. 125 Performing an abortion prior to fetal heartbeat
H.B. 125 Analysis http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/analyses129/h0125-rh-129.pdf
Follow the comittee hearings with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio
November 27, 2012 Senate President Tom Niehaus quashed speculation Tuesday that the GOP-controlled legislature might pass two highly controversial abortion-related proposals during the lame duck session.
“I informed my caucus earlier today that it was not my intention to take up the heartbeat bill in the lame duck session,” he told reporters following Senate session.
Sen. Niehaus (R-New Richmond) said he still had lingering concerns about the
constitutionality of the proposal to ban abortions after the fetus’s heartbeat
is detectable (HB 125).
Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon), sponsor of the bill, recently said two opposing factions of the anti-abortion movement were close to reaching a compromise on the measure.
The Senate president also decided there was insufficient time remaining in the year to take action on a proposal to limit public funding for Planned Parenthood (HB 298), which recently cleared a House committee.
November 2, 2012 For those of you who have not yet seen it, the Cincinnati Enquirer has published a story (Heartbeat bill gets new legislative life) suggesting that a compromise is in the works that will bring HB 125, the so-called “heartbeat bill,” back into the spotlight during the lame duck session which starts on Wednesday.
The Senate President, the bill’s sponsor, and the pro-life groups on both sides of the bill (Faith2Action, Ohio Pro-Life Action, and Ohio Right to Life) are all being tight-lipped about negotiations toward a potential compromise. As a result, we don’t know what the compromise might be or if Sen. Niehaus has given his blessing or not.
If hearings do resume, as the recent media suggests, I believe things will happen quickly. It is in the best interests of those involved not to discuss the compromise language before the hearing. Debating it in the media will only re-focus attention on it and that it what the proponents want to avoid. They would prefer to unveil the language at the last minute, present it in the Senate committee, have it pass it out of committee and onto the Senate floor, and returned to the House for a concurrence vote as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the lame duck process is ripe for such tomfoolery.
Whereas HB 125 is not currently on the agenda of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee for next Wednesday, November 14, it could still be added or be considered after Thanksgiving.
Please mark the following dates on your calendar (November 14 and 28; December 5, 12, and 19) and consider being available to testify against the bill.
For those who like to organize ahead of time, here are some thoughts to consider. As many of you know, it is best to prepare written testimony and simply read it to the committee and then respond to questions they may ask at the end. The Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee likes witnesses to confine themselves to three minutes of testimony, but you won’t likely be stopped if you go over a little bit. In addition to 40 copies of your written testimony, you will need to complete a witness slip (attached) which should be turned in to the committee staff when you arrive.
Article published by the News Record
by Lance Lambert | Staff Reporter
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 125 by a vote of 54-43 in June, banning abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.
It is now pending passage by the Ohio Senate.HB 125, known as the “heartbeat bill”, bans abortions as early as five-and-a-half weeks into a pregnancy.
If passed, HB 125 would challenge the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which granted women the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb.
“[HB 125 is] unconstitutional and prevents abortion at a point when many women do not know they are pregnant yet,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director for National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice Ohio, “[The bill] goes against the unburden clause in the Roe v. Wade decision.”
Copeland believes politicians are trying to come between doctors and their patients.
“We believe medical decisions [should] be made by women and their doctors, not by their state representatives,” Copeland said.
NARAL has formed a “women watch” outside of the Ohio Senate to ensure their message is heard, Copeland said.
“Ohioans elected these people to work on jobs, and they are currently working on 10 bills that are anti-abortion or against contraceptives,” Copeland said.
It is unclear when the Ohio Senate will vote on the bill, but pro-life senators out number pro-choice by a ratio of 2-to-1, Copeland said.
Copeland pointed out many pro-life groups are in opposition to “heartbeat bill,” if struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court it would mean a stronger Roe v. Wade.
Thirty of 50 chapters of the Ohio’s Right to Life have endorsed the bill, including the chapter of Cincinnati, said Paula Westwood, executive director at Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati.
Westwood said she believes the “heartbeat bill” could pass the U.S. Supreme Court, despite the pro-choice opposition’s beliefs.
“Based on Supreme Court decision which banned partial-birth abortion, Gonzales v. Carhart,” Westwood said. “The Supreme Court recognized undisputed evidence which shows a fetus is living from the time of a detectable heartbeat.”
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is expecting and hoping the “heartbeat bill” is sued, Westwood said.
“We have top constitutional lawyers on our side,” Westwood said. “We would not be behind it if we didn’t believe it could pass.”
Even if the U.S. Supreme Court were to challenge and rule against the bill, there are parts that can be upheld written in a severability clause, Westwood said.
Before Senate can vote on the bill, the Senate committee must release the bill for a vote, Westwood said.