Two Ohio Republicans introduce Texan-style abortion restriction legislation – CBS Pittsburgh
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Two Ohio Republican lawmakers on Tuesday introduced Texan-style legislation that could effectively end all abortions in the state.
Representatives Jena Powell and Thomas Hall unveiled their bill in the highly Republican Ohio House a day after the United States Supreme Court heard arguments over the Texas law it was based on. A majority of judges said they would allow abortion providers to challenge the law in court.
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The measure would subject clinics, doctors and anyone else who facilitate abortions to heavy financial penalties related to the lawsuits citizens could bring against them and would make legal challenges difficult. The fact that the woman wants to have an abortion is not a defense against litigation.
Twelve states, including Ohio, have already banned early pregnancy abortion, but all have been barred by the courts from coming into effect.
However, the Texas law was the first of its kind in the country to take its unique approach. Eighteen other GOP-controlled states have supported the ban on most abortions, suggesting they could follow suit, if confirmed as constitutional.
Powell and Hall chose not to wait. Powell said in a statement that the successful Texas law enforcement mechanism, which was upheld by the U.S. 5th Court of Appeals, is necessary âsince the constitutional fiction of Roe v. Wade has prevented communities from protecting our youngest children for the past fifty years. “
The landmark 1973 decision guaranteed women the right to abortion until the fetus reached the point of âviabilityâ.
Already, 33 Ohio lawmakers – more than half of the House GOP caucus – have signed the new bill, signaling rapid momentum for its passage. The fate of legislation in the generally more cautious Ohio Senate, also under Republican control, is uncertain.
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Anti-abortion groups hailed the bill, while opponents called it extreme.
Lila Rose, founder and president of LiveAction, called the legislation “the beginning of the end of legally sanctioned abortions in America.”
Right to Life Action Coalition chair Linda Theis called this a âmajor stepâ towards the end of the process.
Adrienne Kimmell, interim president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the Ohio proposal “dystopian.”
“The SB 8 domino effect is well underway and will only intensify in cruelty as long as the Supreme Court allows Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional law,” she said in a statement.
Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, took the opportunity to pledge to veto any anti-abortion legislation sent to her if elected.
“This dangerous bill would criminalize abortion and encourage self-defense in our state,” she said in a statement. “Ohio deserves better than this anti-abortion extremism.”
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