Ohio Senate stops "heartbeat" abortion bill because "law might have been found to be unconstitutional"

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One of my Twitter buddies Jodi Jacobson (@jljacobson), Editor in Chief at RH Reality Check, wrote a fascinating piece, "Life Begins At Conception. That's Not the Point." Here's an excerpt:

The question is not when life begins. That just obfuscates the real issues.

The fundamental issues are:

  • When does pregnancy begin?
  • Does personhood begin at conception? Is a fertilized egg, blastocyst, embryo, or fetus a person with rights that trump those of the woman upon whose body it depends?
  • Do women need "evidence" that if they are pregnant, odds are they are going to have a baby?
  • Do women have the moral agency and fundamental rights to decide whether or not to commit themselves not only to the development of a life within their own bodies, but to a lifelong tie to another human being once a child is born?

Pregnancy begins at implantation. Human life has to begin with conception, but conception is not the same thing as pregnancy, the latter of which reason, science, and medical evidence agree begins when a fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterus and develops into a healthy embryo. Fertilized eggs take between six to 12 days to implant in the uterine lining. There simply is no pregnancy until this happens, which is why any method that prevents fertilization or implantation can not cause an abortion.  [...]

Hormonal contraception, including emergency contraception, works to prevent fertilization in the first place. If you were really, really worried, therefore, about abortion at any stage, you would be a strong supporter of universal access to contraception, and to universal and easy access to emergency contraception, which needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse to prevent fertilization from taking place.

Interesting perspective, one I don't remember seeing communicated as clearly before.

Meanwhile, back in the anti-abortion state of Ohio, there's been a reprieve for women who would like the government to stay out of their uteri. The state Senate ended a bill that would have restricted women's reproductive rights more than anywhere else in the U.S.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) —  Senators don't plan to vote on the so-called "heartbeat bill" before the end of the legislative session next month, Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus said, citing concerns the resulting law might have been found to be unconstitutional.

The bill proposed banning abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. It had fiercely divided Ohio's anti-abortion community, while energizing abortion rights proponents who protested against it.

Backers hoped the stringent nature of the bill would provoke a legal challenge with the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

The pro-forced-birthers actually called an in utero fetus "the state's youngest legislative witness." Did they get the fetus's testimony in writing, or was a mic forced up the woman's vagina?

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