Republican lawmakers introduced another version of the “heartbeat bill” in the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives on Feb. 12.
If the bill becomes a law, women will no longer be legally allowed to have an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. Limiting options at that stage has caused outrage from people on both sides of the political spectrum. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant.
Former Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar bills twice, stating that it was inconsistent with previous Supreme Court rulings. However, Gov. Mike DeWine has expressed intentions to sign the heartbeat bill if it ever crosses his desk.
Leaving no exceptions for rape or incest, the proposed legislation could upset quite a few individuals. Still, there are a few circumstances that would allow the procedure such as to prevent severe impairment of a major bodily function or the death of the pregnant woman.
Since Roe v. Wade, lawmakers have restricted a women’s right to choose and attempted to complicate her emotions in major ways. Any woman receiving an ultrasound must be given the option to view the screen even if the healthcare provider knows her mind is set. A woman younger than 18 needs to have written consent from a parent or a court order before she can have an abortion. That won’t help if that same parent had a part in the conception of the fetus.
In Ohio, women still have the right to choose to abort but there are hardly any places where they can receive the proper care. These seven cities each have one medical center where a woman can legally get a surgical abortion in Ohio: Akron, Bedford Heights, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.
To give some perspective, the closest of the clinics would still be over an hour from Athens and the farthest would be 3 to 4 hours away. It can be extremely difficult for a woman to travel, especially if she can’t get time off work or doesn’t want her partner to find out. Not to mention that the operation, and even the abortion pill, can cost hundreds of dollars.
If the hearbeat bill passes, many lives will be affected for better or worse.