Ohio Senate President Halts Hearings on Heartbeat Bill
On Wednesday, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-OH) announced that he will suspend hearings on the "heartbeat bill" due to the confusion created by the 20 amendments to the bill submitted by its supporters. He stated, "These eleventh hour revisions only serve to create more uncertainty about a very contentious issue. We've now heard hours of testimony that indicate a sharp disagreement within the pro-life community over the direction of this bill, and I believe our members need additional time to weigh the arguments."
The bill has already passed the Ohio House and would ban abortions as early as 6 weeks following conception, before many women are even aware they are pregnant, and includes no exceptions for rape or incest. If passed by the Republican controlled-state Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would directly challenge the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which allows women to obtain abortion services until fetal viability at 22-24 weeks .
Gary Doughtery, legislative director for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, stated, "Ohio senators should take notice: Women are watching this waste of time and money that is making a bad situation worse for Ohio women and families."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio has indicated that it will sue if the bill becomes law.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 12/15/11; Associated Press 12/14/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/8/11