Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ohio Legislature Passes Unconstitutional Abortion Bill Seeking to Change Constitutional Standard

Washington Post (December 7, 2016): Empowered by Trump Ohio legislature passes 'heartbeat' bill that would ban most abortions, by Sandy Somashekhar,

The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected.  This would ban abortion at about six weeks despite the fact that the current constitutional standard prohibits states from banning abortions before fetal viability, which typically occurs around 24 weeks.  

Earlier this year the Supreme Court declined to review lower court decisions that blocked a six-week abortion ban in North Dakota and a 12-week ban in Arkansas.

But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.

“New president, new Supreme Court justice appointees, change the dynamic,” state Senate President Keith Faber (R) told WHIO-TV after the vote. Asked if he believed it could withstand a constitutional challenge, he replied he felt “it has a better chance than it did before.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich has 10 days after the bill reaches his desk to veto the bill.  If he does not veto the bill, it will automatically become law.

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