Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Pledges to Sign Bill Banning Abortions After Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 23, 2019   |   6:30PM   |   Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine began his first few days in office by speaking up for the rights of the unborn.

The new Republican governor said Wednesday that he will support a bill to prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, The Hill reports. Previous Gov. John Kasich vetoed a heartbeat bill in December.

“We will do this,” DeWine told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I just saw the headline, a court struck down another heartbeat bill for another state. But ultimately, Hugh, you and I both know that this thing, once it’s passed in Ohio, once we sign it, once it becomes law, Planned Parenthood is going to be in the next day, or that day, filing a lawsuit.”

A heartbeat bill would ban most abortions in Ohio by prohibiting abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Research suggests a baby’s heartbeat may begin as early as 18 days after conception, but it typically is not detectable until around six weeks. The most recent Ohio bill also would have allowed abortion practitioners to be charged with a felony for violating the law.

DeWine said he “absolutely” would sign such a bill, even though the abortion industry will challenge it.

“Ultimately, this will work its way up to the United States Supreme Court. And they’ll make that decision,” he said.

The new governor also made a surprise appearance at the Ohio March for Life on Tuesday in Columbus, the AP reports. His wife, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted joined him.

DeWine told pro-lifers that the government’s job is to “take care of those who cannot take care of themselves,” including unborn babies.

The goal of the legislation is to prevent the deaths of thousands of unborn babies every year. However, even some pro-life advocates admit that the success of such legislation is uncertain. While the rationale behind the law is noble, a number of pro-life leaders recognize that, for the present, such laws may create unintended consequences that could hamper the pro-life cause. State taxpayers have been forced to pay pro-abortion groups’ legal fees after losing other abortion cases.

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North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about their ruling on the six-week ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the cases in 2016.

There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the new conservative court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wadesuch as a dismemberment abortion ban – rather than reverse it completely.