Pro-lifers in two states are anxiously awaiting the ultimate outcome on measures that have been approved by legislators and only await a governor's signature to become law.
A court battle is likely over a pro-life bill passed by the Ohio Senate that's now on its way to Governor John Kasich. OneNewsNow spoke with Jamieson Weaver of Ohio Right to Life about the measure, which is designed to save lives of Down Syndrome babies.
"There was a study cited in The New York Times that said 90 percent of [unborn] babies ... diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted," she laments. "So just in light of that staggering number, this legislation was introduced – and we're really encouraged that it's passed because Governor Kasich in a 2015 interview ... said that if the bill got to his desk, he would sign it."
The bill calls for any abortionist aborting a Down Syndrome baby to face a fourth-degree felony punishable by a maximum 18 months in jail and $5,000 fine. A similar measure passed in Indiana has been challenged in court – but Weaver remains optimistic.
"You know we had some lawyers looking over this bill and we hope that this bill will make it through the court system," she remarks. "We think it's slightly different than the Indiana bill, and so we're hopeful."
After the bill advances to the governor's desk, he has ten days to sign it into law or veto it. He did veto a bill the banned aborting babies if a heartbeat could be detected.
And in The Keystone State ...
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has spoken on a pro-life bill that's also on its way to the governor's desk where it faces less promising treatment than the Ohio bill. The Senate first passed the measure, and Maria Gallagher of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation says it's sailing to the governor's desk now.
"The Pennsylvania House has voted to ban brutal dismemberment abortions where babies are torn limb by limb from their mother's womb," she explains. "The legislation would also change the abortion limit in Pennsylvania from six months to five months gestation."
That's at the point that the babies can feel the excruciating pain of abortion – and more than likely even sooner.
"It's very important to save these precious babies," Gallagher expresses, "and it's very important to save mothers from the pain of losing babies to this vile procedure of dismemberment abortion."
The problem, she says, is Governor Tom Wolf, who has vowed to veto the legislation. So Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is urging the state's pro-life residents to contact the governor's office and urge that he sign it into law.
"Unfortunately there are not enough votes for an override in the state legislature," the pro-lifer explains, "so that's why we're counting on people to make their voices heard with the governor."
Gallagher points to a survey of Pennsylvanians showing 61-percent approval overall – and 64 percent of women – endorsing a ban on dismemberment abortions.