This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 5, 2021:
Two Ohio state representatives — Jena Powell and Thomas Hall — filed a bill on Tuesday evening that goes further than Texas’ SB8 or “heartbeat” law: it bans all abortions in the state, period.
It’s House Bill 480 but is better known as The 2363 Act in honor of the 2,363 babies who are killed through abortion every day in the United States. Powell wants to bring that number down to zero:
Since the constitutional fiction of Roe v. Wade has prevented communities from protecting our youngest children for the past fifty years, a new and bold approach is needed.
That “bold approach” includes this language: “no person shall purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion,” with abortion defined as actions that seek “to terminate the pregnancy of a woman … [knowing that they] will … cause the death of the unborn child.” An unborn child is defined as an individual human being “from fertilization until live birth.”
The 2363 Act utilizes the enforcement mechanism from the Texas heartbeat law: it allows “any person” other than a state or local official or employee to bring a civil suit against anyone performing, or assisting in performing, an abortion in the state. Civil penalties are allowed of $10,000 or more, just as in Texas.
The goal, said the bill’s cosponsor Thomas Hall, is to “end abortion in Ohio and across America.” At present 33 members of the 99-member State house have co-sponsored the bill which will next be referred to a House committee for further consideration. Republicans hold a 64-35 majority in the House.
The bill has struck fear into abortion supporters, confirming that other states would offer “copycat” bills similar to if not identical to Texas’s Heartbeat Law. Said Elizabeth Nash, an associate at Guttmacher Institute which supports the legal fiction of Roe v. Wade: “One key part of Texas’s vigilante anti-abortion law was to provide a roadmap for other states, and we are seeing that now as Ohio is following in Texas’s footsteps.”
Warned Nash: “Should Ohio adopt a total abortion ban, it would utterly dismantle abortion access in the state … [resulting in] an insurmountable burden for many, particularly those facing systemic oppression including those with low incomes, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals.” She didn’t explain just how same-sex couples would be negatively impacted by the bill if it became law.
Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced a bill last week — Preventing Vigilante Stalking that Stops Women’s Access to Healthcare and Abortion Rights Act (PVSTSWATHAARA, presumably) — that would, if passed, allow criminal charges to be filed against anyone bringing a civil lawsuit under Texas’s Heartbeat Act.
While PVSTSWATHAARA at present has little chance of passage the same cannot be said of a federal law that has already passed the House of Representatives — the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). That bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the present occupant of the Oval Office, would strip all powers of the states from making such laws as that in Texas and proposed elsewhere.
It would overturn those laws already on the books and prevent new anti-abortion (pro-life) laws from being passed by the states. It would, in simple terms, guarantee abortion on demand. WHPA has 48 co-sponsors in the Senate, all Democrats except Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
This makes the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Mississippi law, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization more important than ever. At issue in that case is “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” If the high court rules that they are, then many other states will follow behind Texas and Ohio in efforts to prevent the murder of unborn children in the wombs of their mothers in their states.