Ohio Politician Says “Sorry About The Confusion” Over Heartbeat Bill Changes


Ohio State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann says he’s taking responsibility for the controversial heartbeat ban not getting voted on in 2011, admitting that a “miscommunication” in the handling of changes to the bill was mostly at fault.

Via WSYX News:

A Dec. 15 letter written by state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann sheds new light on the sudden hold that was put on the divisive legislation dubbed the “heartbeat bill.” Backers had believed it was headed toward passage before the holiday break.

In the letter obtained by The Associated Press, Wachtmann told the leader of the Ohio Senate that “miscommunication” with his office resulted in the revisions reaching only the vice chairman of the Senate’s health committee, and not the chairman who was conducting the hearings.

“I would like to take full responsibility for the confusion that has recently ensued with respect to the amendments offered for this bill, and I apologize for any inconvenience,” wrote Wachtmann, a Napoleon Republican.

Wachtmann said in an interview the purpose of his letter was to set the record straight about where the suggested amendments originated.

“My understanding was that somebody was taking the amendments over to the chairman’s office, but that didn’t get done,” Wachtmann said Tuesday. “I’m not going to play games over who should have done it or didn’t do it, so I just take responsibility for it because it’s my bill.”

One potential change to the bill would be that the “physician should use appropriate means of detecting the heartbeat, not a specific test,” which could allow doctors to use an abdominal ultrasounds or a doppler to find the heartbeat, methods less reliable than a vaginal ultrasound, which can usually detect a heartbeat by 28 days after conception.

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