An Ohio State House member introduced a bill Wednesday that would outlaw abortion if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
According to The Human Life Protection Act (HB 538), introduced by John Becker (R-District 65), a person who is found guilty of purposely taking the life a child born “by attempted abortion who is alive when removed a pregnant woman,” he or she could face up to 25 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Furthermore, physicians who prescribe an abortion can face a penalty of two years in prison, have their medical licenses removed and face a potential $2,500 fine.
Criminal penalties apply only to “forced terminations” and don’t impact doctors treating women who have experienced miscarriage or after-miscarriage care, according to an Ohio Right to Life (ORL) press release.
Women who receive an abortion procedures are immune from prosecution, the bill states.
The only instance HB 538 would allow for an abortion is when a woman’s life is at risk or when the pregnancy could cause irreversible harm of a major bodily function. Rape or incest exceptions are not mentioned in the bill.
“It’s time to look toward the future,” Becker said. “The Human Life Protection Act affirms what we already know: that Ohio is a pro-life state. If and when the Supreme Court decides to return the issue of abortion back to the states, we want to be prepared for what comes next.”
ORL, who worked with Becker on this piece of legislation, said this bill positions Ohio to “protect vulnerable babies” from abortion once states get the ability to do so.
“The pro-life movement stands ready to serve these women and their children, whether that is through the over 140 pregnancy centers in our state, or new initiatives that may be necessary to provide critical supports,” Stephanie Ranade Krider, Vice President of ORL, said. No woman should feel like she must choose between her own future or her baby’s.”
On the flip side, the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio (PPAO) says this bill is not about protecting the patient, but rather about limiting access to abortion.
“Anti-Abortion extremists are at it again. House Bill 538 is the tenth ban introduced in the last year, proving leaders in the Ohio General Assembly are only focused on eliminating legal access to abortion and neglecting everything else,” Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of Government Affairs and Public Advocacy of PPAO, said. “Ohioans deserve better. Ohioans deserve lawmakers who are focused on making their lives better, including expanding access to health care.”
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