Ohio Lawmakers Propose a New Anti-Abortion Bill

New Bill Suggests Doctors Preform an Impossible Procedure


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Leo Nicholson, Staff Writer

Legislators are pushing to get a new bill passed in Ohio that would declare doctors who end pregnancy “abortion murderers” and suggests that physicians should attempt to save ectopic pregnancies by re-implanting the fetus into the uterus, an impossible and nonexistent procedure. 

Under House Bill 413, physicians who perform abortions would face 15 years to life in prison-unless the mother’s life is in danger, or if the physician “takes all possible steps” to save the fetus’ life. According to the bill, one of these ‘possible steps’ is “attempting to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman’s uterus”. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. According to National Health Services, “The fallopian tubes are the tubes connecting the ovaries to the womb. If an egg gets stuck in them, it won’t develop into a baby and the mother’s health may be at risk if the pregnancy continues.” It is currently impossible to save an ectopic pregnancy, and the egg must be removed by medicine or surgery or the mother will most likely pass away due to the complications. 

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Dr. Chris Zahn, vice president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states, “There is no procedure to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy. It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus. Re-implantation is not physiologically possible.” According to the proposed bill, “aggravated abortion murder” would be punishable by death. “I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible. We’ll all be going to jail,” tweeted David Hackney, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Cleveland, Ohio in response to the bill. 

The proposed legislation had two primary sponsors, Candice Keller, the state representative for the 53rd District of the Ohio House of Representatives, and Ron Hood, who represents the 78th District. The bill was co-sponsored by 19 lawmakers of the 99-member state assembly. Keller released a statement regarding House Bill 413, stating that she hopes abortion will be banned in its entirety. “The time for regulating evil and compromise is over,” Keller stated. “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable Right to Life. Only respect for life can be the foundation of a free society that supports peace, justice and integrity.”

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In recent years, legislators in Ohio have repeatedly attempted to ban or strictly limit abortion access. One example of this is the Heartbeat Bill, which was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on April 11, 2019. This bill states that abortions will be illegal after a ‘fetal heartbeat’ is detected. However, scientists say that a fetus does not possess what most people would call a heart at such an early period of development. Courts have repeatedly ruled that such legislation is unconstitutional. Some anti-abortion advocates worry that a court case striking bills like this would only shore up the ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973) that states cannot prohibit abortion before fetal viability, and gave American women the constitutional right to seek abortions.

In order to be passed, the bill would require approval from the full Ohio House and Senate, which are both Republican controlled, as well as Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature to become law.

Jennifer Conti, a practicing OB/GYN told Vice, “You can’t arbitrarily choose when and when not to apply facts. Science is science and embryos are cells of potential, not definitive life.” According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 862,320 abortions occurred in the United States in 2017. With this new bill in place, all of those women would be forced to have the child, changing their lives forever and possibly putting their lives on the line.