Tuesday, at the Statehouse in downtown Columbus, the full Ohio House of Representatives voted 54-43 to approve the Heartbeat Bill (sub. H.B. 125). The legislation would ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The motto of the bill was simple: “If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”
Sponsored by state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-75th District), the chair of the House Health Committee, the Heartbeat Bill would give legal protection to every pre-born child in Ohio that has a detectable heartbeat. Our own Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), flew to Ohio to testify to the constitutionality of the bill earlier this year. She warned legislators that, “Without this bill, abortionists will conceal medically accurate, vital information from women. Women want to know that their baby has a heartbeat.” (See Wright’s testimony here, http://concernedwomen.org/content.asp?id=20089).
The effort has inspired pro-lifers around the country. “For every battle-weary pro-lifer who didn’t see how children were going to be protected in our lifetime, come see what God is doing in Ohio. Protection for babies with beating hearts is within reach for the first time since Roe stripped their rights away. I have never been more hopeful for restoring protection to babies with beating hearts than I am right now,” declared Janet Folger Porter, president of Ohio-based Faith2Action and a former legislative director for Ohio Right to Life.
The Heartbeat Bill now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate, where its prospects are uncertain.
Also, H.B. 78, Ohio’s ban on late-term abortion, sponsored by State Reps. Kristina Roegner (R-42nd District) and Joe Uecker (R-66th District), passed the Ohio House by a margin of 64-32.
H.B. 79, a provision to opt Ohio out of taxpayer abortion coverage under the new federal health care law, sponsored by Reps. Danny Bubp (R-88th District) and Joe Uecker, passed by a vote of 62-35.
It was a great day for the unborn!