Proponents of an Ohio bill to outlaw abortions after the first heartbeat are enlisting in the help of the youngest witness to ever to testify before the state's House Health Committee: a nine-week old fetus. The Faith2Action group apparently aims to use proof of the unborn child's beating heart from a projected ultrasound to convince lawmakers that the "Heartbeat Bill" is constitutional.
Ohio's Right to Life group as well as other pro-life advocates can't even get behind this bill, which could make the legal deadline for abortions before a women even knows she's pregnant, as the first heartbeat usually occurs 18 days after conception. Mike Gonidakis, executive director of the Ohio Right to Life told the Dayton Daily News, "despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill."
The low likelihood that the Heartbeat Bill will pass hasn't deterred Faith2Action from going all out with this fetus testimony, much to the disgust of others. Melissa McEwan angrily writes at Shakesville that "this bill is nothing more than state-sponsored terrorism, in defense of inherently violent ideology, and wheeling in a pregnant woman so her fetus can 'testify' is a fucking sideshow." Daily Intel's Nitasha Tiku notes that Faith2Action's intent in using the fetus is to demonstrate who, exactly, will be directly affected by the Heartbeat Bill. "If that's the case, aren't there sentient beings, like, say, the people that will have to raise it for the next eighteen years that could use actual words to testify?" she asks. Alex Balk at the Awl simply comments that "the witness will be the smartest thing in the room."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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