By Cheryl Sullenger
Columbus, OH – For five years and against stiff opposition – sometimes from within the pro-life camp – Janet Folger Porter has worked with the Ohio Legislature to pass a unique bill that would prevent abortion when the heartbeat of a pre-born baby can be detected, generally at six weeks gestation. That bill would essentially end all but a very few early abortions in Ohio.
Yesterday, for the first time, the Ohio Senate passed the Unborn Heartbeat Protection law, which was previously approved by the House as it has been several times before.
Now the groundbreaking law goes to the desk of Republican Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
“We urge Gov. Kasich to sign the Heartbeat Bill as soon as possible,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “It is what the Ohio Legislature wants and it is want the people want, must most importantly, it will save countless lives from a barbarically brutal death by abortion. Not signing this live-saving legislation is simply unthinkable.”
But Kasich’s signature may not be a sure thing. In the past, he as indicated that he thought the Heartbeat Bill, as it is known, was too risky a gambit that could not pass constitutional muster.
However, the political climate has abruptly changed with the election of Donald J. Trump for President, even in Kasich’s state where Ohioans handed Trump a nine-point victory. Trump pledged to implement a courageous pro-life agenda during his administration that includes appointing conservative, pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
What seemed impossible before is now a very viable opportunity to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
“If the Heartbeat Bill is challenged, by the time it gets to the Supreme Court level, there could be an all new dynamic in the Court’s composition that would likely view life-protecting legislation with approval,” said Newman. “The opportunity to save thousands of lives each year is certainly worth the cost of litigating this law to the Supreme Court.”
Operation Rescue is a long-time supporter of the Heartbeat Bill. In 2011, when it was first introduced in Ohio, Newman spoke at a rally at the Ohio statehouse in support of its passage organized by the indefatigable Porter. In 2013, when the Kansas Legislature had its best chance of passing its own Heartbeat Bill, Newman and the rest of Operation Rescue’s staff were joined by Porter at the Kansas Capitol where they attended hearings and lobbied hard for its passage.
Newman has a message for Ohio’s governor that he hope will be heard loud and clear: “It’s time to put the nay-saying aside and push boldly forward to protect the pre-born, knowing that the winds of change are blowing in our direction. Gov. Kasich, I urge you to sign the Heartbeat Bill today!”