More Republican Attacks on Women’s Rights
Two more fronts have opened up in the Republican Party’s open war on women’s rights:
In Ohio, a GOP Representative is introducing a bill that would redefine human life to begin as soon as a heartbeat is audible.
State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann is planning to unveil the “Heartbeat Bill” and a legislative aide for the Republican tells Fox News that 42 of the 99 representatives in the Ohio state House have signed on to the bill, which would make an exception to the heartbeat rule only in emergency medical situations.
According to 2009 data from the Ohio Department of Health, 56.6 percent of abortions in that state occur in the first nine weeks of pregnancy. And since the fetal heartbeat appears on monitors by six weeks into gestation in most cases, supporters of the bill believe that it could prevent thousands of abortions.
“When the Heartbeat Bill passes, it will be the most protective law in the nation,” Janet Folger Porter, president of conservative advocacy group Faith2Action, said in a release. Porter helped craft the bill, and was also instrumental in passing the nation’s first ban in partial-birth abortion when she was legislative director of Ohio Right to Life.
And in Texas, a proposed law would force pregnant women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound of their fetus and listen to audio of its heartbeat.
AUSTIN, TEXAS—A Texas Senate committee will begin considering an anti-abortion measure this week that, if passed, would be one of the strongest in the nation. The bill mandates that pregnant women be shown an ultrasound of the fetus at least two hours before an abortion.
Physicians also would be required to explain the grainy image, including a description of the fetus’ dimensions and, if applicable, the presence of limbs or internal organs. If audible, the fetal heartbeat would have to be played for the woman as well.
Supporters of the bill hope the extra steps persuade more women to give birth and reduce the number of abortions in Texas.
But critics say the bill would violate women’s and physicians’ civil liberties and, for women who go through with the abortion, could make a wrenching decision more difficult to bear.
One of the common talking points of the anti-choice crowd is that women who have abortions are likely to suffer mental problems; so of course, the Republican solution is to try to make those mental problems worse.