Ohio pro-life organization says “trigger ban” abortion law will be introduced soon

The legislation would ban all abortions in Ohio, except to save the life of the mother, should Roe V. Wade be overturned.
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 6:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Following the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court Justice seat vacated in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Ohio pro-life advocates are feeling a renewed hope for possible wide-sweeping abortion restrictions in the state. Should Barrett be confirmed, the U.S. Supreme Court would have a majority of pro-life justices for the first time since the historic Roe V. Wade ruling made access to legal abortions a protected right.

“While there’s no guarantee that any SCOTUS appointee will be solely responsible for overturning of Roe, there is no doubt that Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for the pro-life movement,” said Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis in a press release following the announcement on Saturday.

Gonidakis went on to say the appointment provides an opportunity for pro-life activists and lawmakers to reintroduce a piece of controversial legislation nicknamed the Human Life Protection Act. The bill, which was first introduced in March by Republican state senator John Becker, has yet to make it onto the floor of Ohio’s General Assembly. According to Gonidakis, Senate President Larry Obhof is set to bring the bill to the Senate floor, though he did not indicate a timeline for this introduction. Senator Obhof’s office has so far not released a statement on the matter.

The Human Life Protection Act, if passed, would ban all abortions except when they are necessary to save the life of the mother. It would go into effect in the event that Roe V. Wade is overturned, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “trigger ban.”

Gov. DeWine previously signed Ohio’s controversial “Heartbeat Bill” into law in 2019, but it was immediately challenged in court and has not yet gone into effect. The bill criminalizes abortions performed after a fetal heartbeat can be detected -- usually at about six weeks, which is opponents point out is before most women know they are pregnant. Under current law, abortions in Ohio are legal until 20 weeks.

When asked about the proposed “trigger ban” during a press conference on Thursday, the governor said he had not heard of the legislation before and therefore had no comment on its content, but he reiterated that he is pro-life.

In a statement published in March, when the bill was first introduced, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland said, “Abortion care is fundamental to equality and autonomy. Representative John Becker, Senator Kristina Roegner, and their ultra-conservative cronies despise those personal freedoms and want to make people in Ohio bend to their will. We won’t do it. Every person deserves to be able to make their own reproductive health care decisions so they can chart their own paths and futures. All people deserve quality affordable abortion care in their communities without stigma, shame, or delay.”

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