Paul Kostyu reports:
Cooperation between competing right to life groups has revived controversial legislation to restrict abortions that now looks like it will be considered in the legislative lame duck session, which begins next week.
Mired in the Ohio Senate since June 2011, HB 125 is getting another look, Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, told The Enquirer Thursday. He said a substitute bill is being prepared.
Called the heartbeat bill because it would prevent an abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected – sometimes as early as six weeks, before women may know they’re pregnant – HB 125 split the Ohio anti-abortion movement because of differing philosophies about the measure.
Ohio Right to Life, which approved of the concept of the bill, withheld support because the organization said it could not withstand a court challenge under Roe v. Wade. It believed that a failure at the U.S. Supreme Court could have the opposite effect, leading to more abortion restrictions. The landmark Court ruling sought to strike a balance between states’ rights to limit abortion and a woman’s right to privacy.
On the other hand, Faith2Action, a group formed by local chapters of Ohio Right to Life, including those in Cincinnati, Clermont and Warren counties, and other organizations pushed for passage of the bill by the Ohio House in 2011. It said the time was right to pass a tougher abortion measure, even though similar efforts in other states failed.
“I think we’re close,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.
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