Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt has proposed a “trigger bill” that has the potential to make most abortions illegal in the state.
The Human Life Protection Act, House Bill 598, outlaws nearly all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. If it passes the legislature and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, it would only go into effect should the Supreme Court put the ability to regulate abortion back in the hands of the states — a possibility that seems closer than ever, following the leak of a draft ruling on the court case dealing with a Mississippi 15-week abortion restriction (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization).
According to News 5 Cleveland, the bill makes committing an abortion a felony and the promotion of abortion a misdemeanor. The only exception to the law would be if the mother’s life is in danger. In that instance, two doctors must sign off on approving the abortion, and they must take every precaution to save “both the mother and the child.” However, even in a life-threatening situation, deliberately killing the child would never be the solution, because abortion is never medically necessary. If a preterm delivery is required, doctors may do what they can to save the mother’s life while also doing everything possible to save the child — even if it’s likely that the child will not survive.
In contrast, abortion is a violent procedure done with the sole intention of killing the child, and a late-term abortion is a process that requires several days — much longer than an emergency preterm delivery.
Schmidt’s proposal has drawn the ire of many because it doesn’t include any exceptions for rape survivors, but she has refused to back down on her support for life. “It is a shame that it happens, but there’s an opportunity for that woman, no matter how young or old she is, to make a determination about what she’s going to do to help that life be a productive human being,” she said.
While many people believe abortion is a solution for rape survivors who become pregnant as a result of assault, many others would argue that the preborn child — who is his own distinct and unique individual — should never be punished for the heinous crimes of his father. Abortion does not heal the trauma of rape, and may in fact compound it, inflicting yet another violent act upon the mother.
“If a baby is created, it is a human life, and whether that mother ends that pregnancy or not, the scars will not go away, period,” Schmidt said during questioning. She also mentioned adoption as an option, saying, “She can choose to raise the child, she can choose to give that child to a loving family member or to give it to someone else…” she said. “Just because you have emotional scars doesn’t give you the right… to take the life.”
According to Ohio Right to Life, Gov. DeWine has indicated that he would sign this legislation if it passes the assembly and makes it to his desk.
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