The Ohio state senate has passed a 20 week ban on abortion based off of the faulty science of “fetal pain.” The ban, which is one of seven anti-choice bills introduced this session, is expected to easily pass and be signed into law. Via Reuters:
[Executive director of Ohio Right to Life‘s Mike] Gonidakis said a doctor seeking to perform an abortion has to determine viability at 20 weeks and get a second opinion from another doctor, and abortion would not be allowed if the fetus was found capable of surviving outside the womb. Exceptions would be made if the pregnant woman faces death or severe health impairment, Gonidakis said.
The bill passed by a 24-8 vote in the Republican-majority Senate. The Ohio House also has a Republican majority.
Like many of the 20 week bans being passed so far this legislative session, the Ohio version has no exception for fetal anomalies, mother’s health or mother’s mental health issues, only direct threat to a mother’s life. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s Kellie Copeland released the following statement:
In passing this legislation, the Ohio Senate is ignoring the devastating impact this legislation could have on the health of many Ohio women and they are inappropriately inserting themselves between doctors and their patients. This legislation harms women with wanted pregnancies that experience heart-breaking complications, such as a fetal anomaly or a cancer diagnosis….This bill lacks an exception to protect a woman’s health against grave risks posed by a temporary medical condition, and goes even further to explicitly disqualify even the most serious of mental health conditions from the permitted exceptions to this ban.
Ohio is still waiting for potential passage of the “Heartbeat bill,” a ban on abortions from 18 days post conception, which would then make this 20 week ban unnecessary.