Target: Ohio State Senate President Tom Niehaus
Goal: Throw out extreme anti-abortion bill
The Ohio State Senate will soon be considering what may become the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill. The bill, which has been quietly surviving in the Senate for more than a year now, would make it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected—a period that can be as brief as six weeks. Many women do not even find out they are pregnant until after this timeframe.
If this bill were to pass, any abortion after a heartbeat was detected would be a criminal offense. The bill is so harsh that even pro-life and anti-abortion groups are divided on the issue. Unlike many other bills and policies pushed for by pro-lifers, the Ohio bill does not make any exceptions as to when an abortion would be permissible; not even in the cases of rape, incest, or if the physical or mental health of the mother are threatened could an Ohioan get an abortion. Simply put, the bill is draconian.
This “heartbeat bill” is fought for solely by religious groups such as Faith2Action, an ultra right-wing Evangelical Christian group based out of Ohio (the group’s other key issues are pornography and homosexuality). Faith2Action has relentlessly hounded Ohio legislators in a clear and blatant attempt to inject religion into law. Senate President Tom Niehaus has been targeted in particular. If Ohio’s Senators pass this bill it will be a truly disgraceful savaging of the separation of church and state.
The Constitution, one of the most important documents in the United States, that from which all other laws descend, explicitly outlaws this kind of legislation. It is clearly faith-based and therefore illegal. Christianity is not the official religion of the U.S. (nor is any other religion) and it can under no circumstances be the basis of a law. Let the Ohio State Senate know that not only would passing this bill be a step backwards for healthcare and women’s rights, but it would also be outright unconstitutional.
Dear Ohio Senate President Niehaus,
For more than a year now, a bill has been lingering about the Ohio Senate. It is an anti-abortion bill called HB 125, and it has the potential to be the most extreme bill of its kind in the entire country.
The bill is ruthless, criminalizing literally all abortions that occur after a fetus’ heartbeat is detected. It is not uncommon for a fetal heartbeat to be present as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Many women are not even aware that they are pregnant after this short a time. Even abortions in cases such as pregnancy as a result rape or incest, or pregnancies in which the mother’s health is threatened would be made illegal.
Even the strictest anti-abortion laws make these exceptions. What makes this one different is that it is clearly religiously motivated. The main agitator for the bill has been Faith2Action, a hyper-conservative Evangelical group based out of Ohio that’s mission is to wage war against abortion, homosexuality, and pornography. Faith2Action sees the separation of church and state as some trifling little thing, a bit of constitutional law that can be easily ignored.
Senator Niehaus, the separation of church and state can never be ignored. This is not just an issue of women’s rights or an issue of healthcare, but an issue concerning the Constitution of these United States. You cannot mandate a religion in your state, no matter what it is. This is the United States of America; we do not do that here. If you pass this bill you would not only endanger Ohio’s women, you would endanger the Constitution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: World Can’t Wait via flickr