Depending on who you ask, abortion is either an inalienable right or absolute murder that should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A newly proposed Ohio bill would not only limit abortion, but also give the death penalty as punishment to women who have them. We have the details on how this new legislation unfolded right here.
• HB 565 was actually first introduced last March. Spearheaded by Rep. Ron Hood and Nino Vitale, a total of 16 other representatives for the Right have been involved with the bill from day one.
• The bill not only seeks to reclassify fetuses as “unborn humans,” but also makes it possible for both doctors performing and women receiving abortions to be criminally charged. It also recommends sentencing options of “life in prison or even death penalty specifications.”
• HB 565 does clarify that unintended or spontaneous abortion would not be considered murder under the law. For example, if a pregnant woman got into a car accident, and lost the baby during a life-saving surgery, the doctor and mother would not be considered culpable.
• It isn’t exactly clear where this would leave women who endanger their fetus through specific actions (e.g., by taking illegal drugs). If passed, it could theoretically open the door to have these women charged with murder, too.
• Thus far, Bill HB 565 has not yet been passed into law. It remains supported by approximately 20 Republicans, but has struggled to gain support from the other 80-odd GOP leaders in the House. No Democrats have agreed to sign it.
• Opponents of the bill have called it punitive, alarming, and even an outright intrusion on human rights. Supporters would first need to overcome this mindset to successfully push it through. It would also need to be supported by both the House and Senate, which isn’t likely to happen (at least right now).
• Given that Ohio Governor John Kasich previously refused to sign or support other anti-abortion bills, HB 565’s changes of success seem slim. In fact, Kasich has sworn to veto any such laws Republicans attempt to pass.
• But here’s the thing about Kasich’s alleged interference: he is ineligible for re-election, and that means he’s out in 2019. Could that mean his replacement supports HB 565 ? It’s just too early to tell right now. What you can be sure of is that we’ll be watching this story and how it unfolds closely.