By Samantha Kamman, Abortion Columnist
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed a heartbeat bill, banning abortions once an unborn baby’s heart can be detected, and penalizing abortionists $20,000 if they violate the law. The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to challenge the legislation, and the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, Kersha Diebel, has stated they will join the ACLU’s lawsuit. In a statement to WKRC Local 12, Diebel said:
“This is a conservative effort across this state to not only ban abortion, but to put an attack on a woman’s body and choice at the end of the day.”
A baby’s heartbeat is usually detectable at six weeks gestation, and it is also the period where the baby’s spine and brain develop from the neural tube. The heartbeat law is slated to go into effect within 90 days, and state leaders have pledged to defend the rights of the unborn.
DeWine has expressed hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the law, but he is also prepared for lower courts to reject it due to the legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade. Anticipating that the court battle will be a long one, DeWine believes it is worth it if it means protecting the lives of the unborn.
“It is our duty I believe and it’s the essential function of government to protect those who can’t protect themselves, to protect those who are voiceless.”
The bill could potentially save thousands of unborn lives, as the Ohio Department of Health reported 20,893 abortions were performed in the state in 2017. While a similar law to the one in Ohio was proposed in Kentucky, a federal judge blocked it, allowing babies with a heartbeat to continue to be aborted within the state. While there is a chance the Ohio heartbeat law will be blocked by abortion advocates, Attorney General Dave Yost says he is prepared to defend it in court.