by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2006
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio will be the next state where state lawmakers will debate legislation to prohibit abortions. An Ohio state House committee is slated to debate House Bill 228, a measure sponsored by State Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Cincinnati Republican, which would prohibit all abortions there.
The measure, which has 17 co-sponsors, goes further than abortions bans in South Dakota and Louisiana, by prohibiting abortions in every circumstance — including those in very rare situations to save the life of the mother.
The bill would also make it a crime to take someone to another state for a legal abortion.
Brinkman told the Akron Beacon-Journal newspaper that he proposed the measure last year but it is getting hearings now because of two new justices added to the Supreme Court that would be more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"A year ago we didn’t have the vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Brinkman said.
Since then, Chief Justice John Roberts has replaced former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who backed reversing Roe, and Justice Samuel Alito has replaced former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who favored upholding the abortion case.
Abortion advocates strongly oppose the measure, including Ohio NARAL and Parenthood of Summit, Portage and Medina Counties
Roberta Aber, of Planned Parenthood, told the Akron newspaper the bill was "an extreme piece of legislation” while NARAL’s Kellie Copeland said the measure is "clearly unconstitutional" and contended it won’t make it out of the committee.
The pro-abortion groups plan to turn out dozens of activists in Columbus for the hearing.
"We’re gearing up, loaded for bear… We won’t let this politically inspired attack on women’s health go unanswered… We are ready to give them the fight of their lives,” Copeland told the Beacon-Journal.
Meanwhile, Denise Mackura, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, says her group supports the premise of the bill but worries about some potential problems.
The measure not only bans abortions but repeals all laws concerning abortion — including many pro-life ones that limit abortion while its still legal. Those laws, such as making sure women are told of abortion’s risks and alternatives and another prohibiting teen abortions without parental consent, may be overturned if the bill becomes law and is then challenged in the courts.
The Ohio abortion measure is more similar to the South Dakota ban because it is a direct attack on Roe v. Wade and its intent is to get the Supreme Court to overturn the infamous case.
However, Mackura is concerned that any court case on the Ohio ban could further uphold Roe v. Wade since, at best, only four members of the Supreme Court favor reversing Roe. At least one more pro-life justice is needed to provide the five members needed to overturn the decision.