Ohio lawmakers moved Tuesday to advance a bill that would ban dismemberment abortions in the state House.
In the final days of the 132nd General Assembly of Ohio, lawmakers have not only considered Senate Bill 145, which would ban dismemberment abortions, but they also having been debating House Bill 258, which would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, according to Cleveland.com. Heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. Currently, Ohio law bans abortions 20 weeks after conception.
Dismemberment abortions, also known as dilation and evacuation abortions, typically occur between 13 to 24 weeks of pregnancy when an unborn baby is nearly fully formed with fingers, toes and all of his/her major organs in place. During a D&E procedure, a woman’s cervix is dilated and the unborn child is ripped apart in the womb with forceps, clamps or similar surgical instruments, and then suctioned out of the womb while their heart is still beating.
The Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee passed SB 145 along party lines Tuesday, according to the report.
If enacted, abortion practitioners could be charged with a fourth-degree felony for performing dismemberment abortions. This could result in up to 18 months in prison. There are exceptions to the bill, such as allowing the procedure if the life of the mother is at risk, or if there is the possibility of impairing a major bodily function.
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As for House Bill 258, its passage stalled on Tuesday, for lawmakers were unsure of it viability. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and former presidential candidate, promised to veto HB 258, according to Catholic News Agency. He has a strong pro-life record but the heartbeat bill is the only one he has vetoed before, in 2016.
Many states are working on banning dismemberment abortions. Kentucky is currently in a legal battle to protect its law to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions. Florida also passed HB 1429 to ban dismemberment abortions, and Texas’ dismemberment abortion ban is on appeal after a federal district court out of Austin placed an injunction on the law in November 2017.
Ohio’s 132nd General Assembly officially ends on Dec. 31, but it likely will meet for the last time this Thursday to discuss the two bills.