COLUMBUS, OH — The full Ohio legislature passed a bill yesterday that prohibits a person from knowingly and purposefully performing or inducing an abortion of an unborn baby whose heartbeat has been detected, typically about six weeks into pregnancy.
SB 23 provides that violating this is a felony of the fifth degree. The Senate previously passed the bill in March. However, the bill returned to the Senate because the House amended it to include stiffer penalties for abortionists who violate the measure. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to sign it soon.
Since many women do not even know they are pregnant at this early stage, this legislation could protect almost all unborn babies in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Health reported 20,893 abortions in 2017, an increase of one percent from 2016.
“A baby with a beating heart in the womb deserves the opportunity of being born,” said state Rep. Niraj Antani. “As a co-sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill since the moment I was elected, today’s vote will save countless lives. It’s time to end abortion in Ohio.”
In addition to Ohio, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and West Virginia are among the states that have either passed “heartbeat” legislation or are hoping to do so.
“I commend Ohio lawmakers for fighting for precious babies and passing this heartbeat bill,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “The beating heart of a priceless unborn child should awaken the conscience of our nation to the violence of abortion. I am grateful that Ohio is not afraid to take significant steps toward making the womb a safe place again,” said Staver.
Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.