Pro-life lawmakers in Ohio are once again trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and make almost all abortions a felony in the state for the second time in so many years.
In the Senate Bill, physicians accused of “causing or inducing an abortion” would face charges of “criminal abortion,” which would be considered a fourth-degree felony in nearly all cases, as News5 Cleveland reports.
State Sen. Kristian Roegner was one of the bill’s cosponsors and explained in a statement from her office that the bill would not take effect until Roe v. Wade is overturned or an amendment to the U.S. Constitution “upholds Ohio’s authority under the federal system to prohibit abortion.”
“I believe that when the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to Roe, they will realize that the original decision from 1973 was seriously flawed, and return the authority regarding abortion to the states,” Roegner said in the statement.
Abortions are currently legal in Ohio up to 22 weeks gestation.
Almost exactly a year before the new Senate Bill was introduced, now-former state Rep. John Becker introduced a bill that aimed to bar state funds from being disbursed for services relating to abortion and created an “abortion manslaughter” first-degree felony charge.
This bill never received a hearing and thus never moved to the state General Assembly.
Both bills fall short of a complete ban on abortion. Like its current counterpart, Becker’s bill had an exception for an abortion that “was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.”
Pro-life activists are hoping the legislation will force a review of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
“For the first time since abortion was legalized, we have a pro-life majority on the (U.S.) Supreme Court,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “Roe v. Wade hangs by a thread. Ohio must be prepared for what comes next.”
Pro-aborts in the state, however, resent the “attack on abortion access.”
“S.B. 123 is the latest egregious attack on abortion access from leaders in the Ohio General Assembly who are only focused on eliminating legal access to abortion, to the neglect of everything else – including the pandemic,” Ohio’s Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
The proposed bill is now set to be assigned to a House committee which will hold hearings to consider the legislation.
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