Patience has paid off for supporters of Ohio's "Heartbeat Bill," even though a legal challenge is expected.
UPDATE (3:00 CDT) ... Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed into law the Heartbeat Bill passed by the state legislature yesterday.
It's been a long time coming but there is good news concerning Senate Bill 23, according to Mark Harrington of the Ohio-based pro-life group Created Equal.
"The Heartbeat Bill, which was introduced in 2011 – now eight years [ago] – finally passed both the House and Senate here in the State of Ohio and will go to signature for Governor [Mike] DeWine here within days," he shares with OneNewsNow.
On Wednesday the Ohio House approved the measure 56-39, and the Senate agreed to House changes with an 18-13 vote. DeWine, a Republican, has stated he plans to sign it; his predecessor, John Kasich – also a Republican – twice vetoed the bill.
Described as among the most restrictive abortion measures in the U.S., the legislation prohibits abortions if the abortionist can detect the baby's heartbeat, which often is detectable about six weeks into the pregnancy. If a woman does not know she is pregnant by then and the gestation is beyond that threshold, she will not be able to terminate the child.
Other states that have passed heartbeat legislation – or are hoping to do so – include Mississippi, Florida, West Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Minnesota, and Missouri.
A legal challenge to fight implementation of the bill is not only possible but likely, says Harrison. "[But] we think that with the changing of the complexion of the U.S. Supreme Court and the way the court is treating abortion differently than they used to … the standard was viability," he explains.
And that ruling basically establishes "viability" as the point the baby could possibly live outside the womb. Preborn babies who couldn't be saved in the past are now being saved because of advances in the medical field.
Democrats in the Ohio House offered up a number of amendments to the Heartbeat Bill, all of which Republicans voted down. One of those was during the House Health Committee hearing this week when Democratic State Representative Janine Boyd proposed a change to the bill:
Boyd: "I move to amend with amendment number 291 which would provide an exception for African-American women."
Under that amendment, blacks could abort their babies when a heartbeat is detected while other women could not. The Democratic lawmaker pointed to the fact that America is a young country which, according to Boyd, hasn't moved on from its history against blacks:
Boyd: "I consider the slave trade and how black slaves were once treated like cattle and put out to stud in order to create generations of more slaves. I consider how many masters raped their slaves. And I consider how many pregnant slaves self-induced abortion so that they would not contribute children they had to the slave system."
Democrats offered no documentation to prove the point and no information on why African-American women should have the right to abort if they don't want their child as adults to enter the workforce. That particular amendment went down in committee on a party-line vote, 11-7.