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Galonski: House passes strictest abortion ban in the nation during first week back at work

Victims of rape and incest left with no protections against unlawful pregnancies
November 15, 2018
Tavia Galonski News

The Republican-controlled Ohio House today passed House Bill (HB) 258, legislation that would prohibit an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks of pregnancy— long before most women even know they are pregnant.

The so-called “heartbeat bill” also makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest, though Ohio’s public universities saw a 66-percent increase in reported rapes in 2016 and the Buckeye State experience a nine-percent increase in rape in 2016, according to FBI crime statistics. Ohio Republicans have also refused to end Ohio’s statute of limitations for victims of rape.

“This is nothing more than another GOP attack on women’s rights. A woman ought to have the bodily autonomy to make her own medical decisions and that is what abortion is: a medical decision. Emphasis on the word ‘decision.’ We are not forcing anyone who doesn’t want to have an abortion to have one and there is no violation of a moral compass,” said state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron).

“During my years working for the juvenile court, so many cases came up where teenagers were raped and impregnated by family members. More often than not the only options they were given were to reveal that they were pregnant and be kicked out of the home or terminate the pregnancy. That is who I think about when bills like HB 258 come about. The woman forced to decide between being homeless and pregnant with a family member’s child or to end the pregnancy to preserve what well-being she has. That’s the reality.”  

HB 258 would enact the most stringent abortion restrictions in the country and critics of the bill say its 6-week ban is unconstitutional.

Similar restrictions in Arkansas, North Dakota and Iowa have already been struck down by federal courts. Defending the law in court would cost Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars, according to recent reports.

The unprecedented “heartbeat bill” was added to the House Session calendar after Republican candidates swept Ohio’s top statewide offices during the midterm election.