Ohio Senate Re-Aborts Heartbeat Bill


Zombies and fetuses have been hot in 2012, so it makes perfect sense that the Ohio Senate would try to make that state cool again by combining the two into one terribly stupid political maneuver. The so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” which proposed banning abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat could be detected, would have been the nation’s most restrictive abortion law if it had been enacted. And now, it’s dead. Again.

The Heartbeat Bill’s long, ridiculous journey began in 2011, when an actual fetus testified in favor of banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected (by “testified,” I mean it laid there, in utero and unaware that it was testifying, while the sonogram technician struggled to find its heartbeat). The state’s Republican House passed the bill after much mockery only to have the Republican-controlled Senate table the measure. It appeared that the Heartbeat Bill was dead, to live on only as a bullet point in 2011 end of year CAN YOU BELIEVE STATE LEGISLATORS TRIED TO PASS THIS GARBAGE? lists.

But wait! It lives! In the week after the election, the Ohio Senate mulled taking out their electoral frustrations on the uteruses of Buckeye women and reviving the legislation, which almost certainly would have passed and then been signed into law by the state’s anti-abortion rights governor. Pro-life groups were eagerly waiting the opportunity to retool it into something less whackadoo-seeming, and everything was in place to get the ball rolling.

This week, Senate President Tom Niehaus changed his tune, after coming down with a rare case of The Logics. Basically, there’s no fucking way that the Heartbeat Bill would stand in court, despite various right to life groups’ quixotic reality-denying rhetoric, and Niehaus wasn’t comfortable wasting time and money on a doomed effort.


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