Measure introduced in Ohio would ban abortion outright


FILE – In this April 10, 2019 file photo, some members of the Ohio House applaud following their vote while others photograph protestors who unfurled banners reading “This is not a House of Worship” and “This is not a Doctor’s office” following a vote on the Heartbeat Bill at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. A group of conservative lawmakers in Ohio has introduced a bill to outlaw abortion outright, declaring a fetus a person and subjecting doctors who terminate pregnancies to potential murder charges. The legislation introduced Thursday, Nov. 14, appears to make an exception for the life of the mother.(Brooke LaValley/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group of conservative lawmakers in Ohio has introduced a bill to outlaw abortion outright except to save the pregnant woman’s life.

State Rep. Candice Keller, a Republican from Middletown, says the bill’s backers are tired of taking an incremental approach to ending abortion.

“The time for regulating evil and compromise is over,” she said in a statement. “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable Right to Life.”

The legislation, introduced Thursday, declares a fetus a person and would subject doctors who terminate pregnancies to potential murder charges.

The bill makes an exception for the life of the pregnant woman, saying a doctor would escape prosecution for performing “a surgery, before the unborn child is viable, for the sole purpose of treating the pregnant woman’s fatal condition.”

Ohio is among states that have passed restrictive abortion laws in recent years in hopes of sparking a legal challenge that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. Abortion opponents have been emboldened by the new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This has been the goal of the grassroots of the pro-life movement since the disastrous Roe decision of 1973,” stated Margie Christie, president of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio.

But Ohio Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest anti-abortion group, was not involved in the latest effort and is neutral.

Abortion rights groups lined up to blast the bill, calling it medically dangerous and insulting to women.

“This is yet another attack on the sacred physician-patient relationship and on reproductive health care,” Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said in a statement. “This extreme bill goes to outlandish levels to further restrict Ohioans’ decisions around health care and parenting.”

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