Ohio “Heartbeat” Bill On Hold, “Not Quite Ready”

Robin Marty

Anti-choice legislators still don't quite have the country's most restrictive abortion bill ready yet, and it may never be.

Anti-choice activists in Ohio have put a lot of effort into stunt testimony for the “heartbeat” bill, a legislative push to ban abortion after the point in which the heartbeat can be detected — as early as 18 days post conception in some cases.  From sending heart-shaped balloons to legislators on Valentine’s Day to having fetuses “testify” via ultrasound during the bill review, the proponents of the bill definitely have garnered media attention.

But the bill, which was supposed to be potentially voted on Wednesday, ended up getting delayed instead, because its sponsor said it was “not quite ready.”

Via WTOV 9:

The House Health Committee decided against voting Wednesday on a proposal to outlaw abortions after the first medically detectable heartbeat. Chairman Lynn Wachtmann said it was “not quite ready.”

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[T]he bill’s future is uncertain. Opponents said the so-called “heartbeat bill” would be unconstitutional.Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder hasn’t said whether he supports the legislation, saying he wants to consider what the legal defense would be first.

The bill is so blatantly unconstitutional that even the state’s Right To Life Chapter has refused to endorse the law, knowing that it will never actually be enacted and not wanting to divert efforts from other abortion bans in the legislature that might have more of a chance at success.

The “heartbeat” supporters may be working to get the bill “right,” but they’d have more luck just putting together another stunt for media attention and then calling it a day.

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