A horrifying bill that would essentially ban all abortions cleared the legislature in the state of Ohio earlier this week. Justifiably, abortion rights advocates are freaking out. The clearly unconstitutional measure would ban all abortions once a fetus’ heartbreak can be detected, which can happen just six weeks after conception.
Another piece of legislation the Ohio legislature has passed is perhaps even scarier because it will almost certainly stick as Stassa Edwards explains for Jezebel:
The 20-week ban, SB 127, was approved by the legislature [Thursday] night and is now on Kasich’s desk. He has ten days to decided whether or not to sign the bill. The ban has no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies, or the mental health of the woman. It’s very likely that [Gov. John] Kasich, who loves to sign abortion restrictions, will sign the 20-week ban which could be a greater overall restriction on abortion rights than the Heartbeat Bill (a bill that’s designed to do many things, but hold up in court is not one of them).
The 20-week ban has become a favorite restriction among anti-abortion groups. Fifteen states currently ban abortion after 20 weeks. Though Planned Parenthood recently filed a challenge against North Carolina’s 20-week restriction, numerous states, including Texas, are also looking to add this restriction.
While the 20-week ban is a surer bet, that doesn’t make the heartbeat bill any less of an affront to women’s rights. Even if it’s not upheld by the Supreme Court, it could limit women’s access to abortion in the meantime. More than that though, the heartbeat bill could actually be upheld, thanks to “shifting political realities” as Fusion’s Katie McDonough wrote earlier this week:
“If Donald Trump holds to his word and appoints Supreme Court justices who will reopen Roe, then even the paper-thin constitutional protections in place right now become vulnerable. And states like Ohio, unshackled from that legal precedent, may pass six-week bans, or total bans, without fear of a costly battle in court.”