Ohio ‘heartbeat’ bill highlights anti-abortion groups’ wariness of challenging Roe v. Wade
An Ohio House committee approved one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion limits on Wednesday, but the measure will likely not earn universal support from anti-abortion groups — including some in Florida.
The bill would outlaw an abortion starting at the “first detectable heartbeat.” According to the Associated Press, supporters of the bill are hoping this legislation “sparks a legal challenge to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade.” However, not all anti-choice groups agree with this strategy. Ohio Right to Life did not support the bill because members fear extreme measures could backfire.
This is a fear that even anti-choice groups such as the Florida Catholic Conference are considering before supporting similarly extreme legislation. In an interview with The Florida Independent earlier this month, Sheila Hopkins, an associate director of the Catholic Conference, said that challenging Roe v. Wade “could ultimately result in a reaffirmation” the law — thus setting back the anti-choice movement.
Ohio’s newest piece of abortion legislation explicitly challenges Roe v. Wade‘s ruling that upholds a woman’s right to an abortion “until fetal viability,” which is between 22 to 24 weeks. Fetal heartbeats can be found at six weeks.
The bill will need to pass in the Ohio state House next. It is uncertain whether it will move forward because it narrowly passed by one vote in committee on Wednesday.