Ohio State Representatives Ron Hood and Nino Vitale have introduced a new bill that would ban all abortions, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Vitale said this was intentional, describing it as a “save them both” bill. “Life isn’t always giving us things by our choice and I don’t want to put a woman through a second trauma after she’s been through such an awful first one,” Vitale said of abortion after rape.
Rep. Hood said it would be up to prosecutors to decide on punishment, as the bill does allow the pregnant woman seeking an abortion to be charged with a crime. “I believe life begins at conception so the goal of this bill is to first of all continue to get the word out that life does begin at conception and move the debate in that direction, and to protect unborn Ohioans from being aborted,” he explained.
The bill recognizes preborn children as human beings under Ohio’s criminal code for murder, manslaughter, and homicide, and makes them eligible for wrongful death lawsuits as well. Eighteen other House Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
The bill will face heavy opposition. Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed a heartbeat bill in 2016, instead signing into law a bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks. A federal court judge also recently declared the Ohio law banning abortions due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome to be unconstitutional. Still, some in the pro-life movement are hopeful that the bill could potentially encourage changes, most specifically to Roe v. Wade. “Ohio Right to Life believes life begins at conception and hopes that one day we can change the Supreme Court’s mind to allow Ohio to enact its own pro-life policies,” said Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis.