Ohio Bill Will Ban Abortions Immediately After Roe is Overturned, Save 21,000 Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 20, 2022   |   11:27AM   |   Columbus, Ohio

A new Ohio bill would save nearly 21,000 unborn babies’ lives every year by banning abortions as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned.

On Thursday, the state House Government Oversight Committee held its second hearing on the Human Life Protection Act (Senate Bill 123/House Bill 598), hearing from doctors, pastors, politicians, pro-life leaders, pregnancy resource center directors and others about the need to protect unborn babies.

“I’m thrilled to see this legislation gaining momentum,” said state Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, the lead sponsor of the bill. “In Ohio alone, nearly 21,000 unborn children are unjustly killed every year. This has to stop. The time has come for Ohio to join these other states and truly stand up for the rights of the unborn.”

If her bill passes, Ohio would join 13 other states with trigger laws that protect unborn babies by banning abortions as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court allows states to do so. Currently, because of Roe and other abortion rulings, states are forced to legalize abortion up to viability.

Schmidt’s bill would ban all abortions except if the mother’s life is at risk. It also would create penalties for abortionists who violate the law; however, mothers who have abortions would be exempted from prosecution.

ACTION ALERT: To support this critical pro-life legislation, Contact Ohio House lawmakers.

The Ohio Capital Journal reports the meeting grew tense at times between several Democrat lawmakers and pro-life advocates who testified in favor of the bill. At one point, Allie Frazier, executive director of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio, questioned the idea that mothers need to kill their own unborn babies to be free, drawing criticism from state Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson, D-Toledo.

“The question is ‘do we need to be able to kill our progeny to be free?’” Frazier asked. “I don’t think that’s true.”

Hicks-Hudson said she believes banning abortion is the real “oppression,” according to the report.

“I don’t see it as really being that liberation that you’re talking about as oppression,” Hicks-Hudson replied. “In fact, I see what is being placed upon women as a violence that we as legislators are going to do because it does not allow them to have that choice.”

But Frazier said abortion is violence against unborn children, and the government has a duty to protect its citizens, the report continues.

“The government does have an interest in ensuring that none of our citizens and none of the human lives that exist within this state are being victimized, especially on a large scale,” she said.

Others who testified included Dr. Michael Parker, an OB-GYN and former president of the National Catholic Medical Association.

“This genetically distinct and inherently valuable human person is worthy of the same dignity and respect as all other human persons,” Parker said, according to the local news. “Therefore, we see that abortion violates the basic tenets of medical ethics, to do no harm, because it ends the life of an unborn child.”

Pro-life advocates also assured lawmakers that they are ready to help mothers and babies in need. Melanie Miller, executive director of Ashland Pregnancy Center, said pregnancy centers and churches already are helping.

“When we end abortion in Ohio, what happens to all of the babies? Pregnancy centers are ready,” Miller told the committee. “Churches are ready. These groups are already loving and caring for moms and families in their time of need.”

Many pro-life advocates urged the committee to recognize that every human life is valuable, including babies before they are born.

“Public policy must always be measured by how it both respects the life and dignity of the human person and advances the common good,” Jerry Freewalt of the Catholic Conference of Ohio told lawmakers.

Denise Leipold, Ohio Right to Life board member, added: “The killing of a child in the womb is not healthcare, nor is it part of reproductive healthcare. Two people enter an abortion clinic. Once of them always dies.”

It is not clear when lawmakers plan to vote on the bill, but many states are preparing for the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe this summer. Earlier this month, a leaked draft ruling showed the justices overturning the 1973 abortion decision in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. If that happens, states will be allowed to protect unborn babies again, and experts predict as many as 26, including Ohio, will do so.

ACTION ALERT: To support this critical pro-life legislation, Contact Ohio House lawmakers.