Newsbreak

Ohio bill to hold fathers accountable gets mixed reactions from pro-life groups

Ohio

An Ohio pro-life group has thrown its support behind a bill that is aimed at holding men responsible for the children they help create, reported Fox 8 on Monday.

Ohio Senate Bill 262 would allow a woman to claim a minimum of $5,000 in damages from her baby’s father due to an unplanned pregnancy no later than five years after the child is conceived. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Columbus), an abortion-supporting politician. After Roe v. Wade was overturned, she said on Twitter, “The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the longstanding constitutional right to an abortion means that Ohio’s draconian ‘Heartbeat Bill’ was able to become law.” She called the Ohio pro-life law “devastating” and said this is why she authored Senate Bill 262.

What’s surprising her, however, is that a pro-life group is supporting her bill.

READ: Texas, Ohio Supreme Courts allow pro-life laws to take effect

The Center for Christian Virtue, a conservative Christian lobbying group based in Columbus, praised the bill as “pro-family, pro-marriage legislation.” The group’s president Aaron Baer said in a statement, “Senator Tina Maharath’s legislation is an innovative approach to combat the hook-up culture that has led to broken lives, hurting women, and abandoned children. It’s time we hold these deadbeat dads accountable.”

Maharath’s legislative aid John Lytle said in an email that the support from the Center for Christian Virtue was “somewhat of a surprise,” but the support is welcome. Maharath is expected to meet with the pro-life group to discuss the bill’s advancement.

“As we boldly step into Post-Roe America, restoring the dignity of human life requires that we restore a virtuous sexual ethic that leads men to stay with the women with whom they consensually engage in sexual activity, and provide for the children they create,” Baer said.

However, Ohio Right to Life has stated that it does not support the bill. “As usual, pro-choice politicians only offer gimmicks and slapstick humor as solutions to women’s issues,” Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said. “This so-called legislation will not see the light of day and has a zero percent chance of even getting a committee vote.”

Likewise, Lizzie Whitmarsh, a spokesperson for Ohio Right to Life, claimed that the bill implies women “are too stupid” to make responsible choices with a sexual partner, instead shifting the blame on men and treating pregnancy as “something ugly and inconvenient, worthy to be sued over.”

“Isn’t this what feminist[s] have fought against for years?” she said. “Women are smarter than that. We are not helpless victims that have no say over the choices we make, including those choices in the bedroom.”

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