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Health and Medicine


'Heartbeat' bill returns to Statehouse
Legislation would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
State Rep. Lynn Wachtman is again supporting legislation that would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected
Courtesy of Ohio House of Representatives
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In The Region:
A controversial abortion bill that failed in the last general assembly is back again. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports that the Heartbeat Bill, the legislation that would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected, has been re-introduced.
Heartbeat Bill returns to Statehouse

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Janet Folger Porter, the head of a group that pushed the heartbeat bill last time around, had this to say to reporters at the Ohio Statehouse.

“Just suffice it to say, did you really think we were going to give up, really?”

The Ohio lawmaker who led the charge with the bill last time around is leading the charge again. Republican Representative Lynn Wachtman said the bill that would ban abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected is necessary in order to save lives of babies. And he said those who claim his bill is a war on women need to think about it this way...

“I would remind you the real war on women is the abortionists, the slayers of those young babies, young girls in their wombs who take their lives. That is the real war on women.”

Inspections mandated
In addition to the fetal heartbeat test, Representative Christina Hagan said the new bill mandates inspections of abortion clinics.

“We will now have inspectors in our abortion clinics to insure that the regulations that we are putting in place as far as fetal heartbeat goes are being held up.”

This time around, Hagan said the bill also includes a commission to study ways to improve adoption in Ohio.

Star power?
There’s something else different this time around….the way the bill was kicked off. An Arkansas couple, stars of a reality TV show, were on hand for the announcement of the bill’s return…and for a fundraiser for the group backing the bill. Seventeen of their nineteen kids made the overnight trek to Ohio to be part of the event. Michelle Duggar, said it’s important for Ohioans to pass this bill.

“In our nation, there is a baby holocaust taking place where doctors and nurses are being able to take the lives of innocent unborn children.”

Copeland: 'A heartless bill'
Kellie Copeland with NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio says, “Just one month after Governor Kasich enacted one of the worst anti-choice laws in the country, we are back with another piece of legislation, this time one that would effectively ban abortion before women even know they are pregnant. And it wouldn’t have any exceptions that would protect women’s health or even rape or incest. It’s a heartless bill.”

Copeland points out this bill has passed in other states….and has been struck down by courts. She says if Ohio lawmakers pass this bill, they will be wasting their time and money.

“If it is passed, it will waste hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of taxpayer dollars that I think would be better spent on increasing access to health care rather than using taxpayer dollars to challenge Roe v. Wade which has been the law of the land for 40 years.”

Differing tactics
Mike Gonadakis of Ohio Right to Life says his group isn’t interested in fighting for the heartbeat bill.

“Pro-lifers can have differences on tactics and strategies and that appears to be the case this time.”

Ohio Right to Life had concerns over the constitutionality of the heartbeat bill when it was considered by the legislature last year too. Gonadakis say his group will focus on passing reforms that make it easier and less costly to adopt children in Ohio.
Listener Comments:

Open Letter to North Carolina Legislators: We'll Say It Again: Get Out of Our Exam Rooms
July 17, 2013
The following Op-Ed was published in the July 17, 2013, print and online subscription editions of The Charlotte Observer:

North Carolina is yet another example of legislators wanting to play doctor, telling real doctors how to practice medicine and how to care for our patients. Medical decisions must be based on scientific evidence and made by patients in consultation with physicians, not the state or federal government.

Let’s be clear. Senate Bill 132 and Senate Bill 353 collectively have one purpose: To restrict the reproductive rights of women in North Carolina by interfering with the practice of medicine. The two leading state ob-gyn associations—the North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the North Carolina Section of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have joined together to stand against these bills because they undermine the very fabric of what’s important: Patient safety and access to quality medical care for all women in our state.

ACOG respects our members’ deeply held personal beliefs on abortion. While we can agree to disagree about abortion on ideological grounds, we must draw a hard line against any legislation that threatens women’s health. That’s why we’re setting the record straight for all politicians:

Get Out of Our Exam Rooms
Physicians from all specialties agree that the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship is central to good medicine and is embraced by ACOG and the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Surgeons, and American College of Physicians. These organizations recently wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine:

“Legislators, regrettably, often propose new laws or regulations for political or other reasons unrelated to the scientific evidence and counter to the health care needs of patients. Legislative mandates to the practice of medicine do not allow for the infinite array of exceptions where the mandate may be unnecessary, inappropriate, or even harmful to an individual patient.”

Facts Are Important
SB 132 would require North Carolina schools to teach students that abortions lead to preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. This is a perfect example of why legislators should not pretend to be doctors. The medical science behind this issue is complex and doesn’t support this conclusion.

SB 353 would force the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics, decrease the number of doctors who can care for women in these circumstances, and ultimately deny women safe medical care. For example, it would impose irrelevant structural requirements, such as door width, that will not improve patient safety. Also, very few clinics would be able to meet the unnecessarily stringent surgical standards, which are much higher than those required for other similar low-risk procedures, such as colonoscopy. Abortion is actually one of the safest medical procedures, with fewer than 0.5% of abortions involving major complications. That rate soars, however, when women go elsewhere for abortions.

Women Can Make Their Own Medical Decisions Without State Interference
Women across this nation are fully capable of making their own medical decisions with their physicians, just as they make many other important decisions every day for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Women do not need—or want—any government to make medical decisions for them.

All women must have the legal right to safe abortion and should have access to all needed health care based on scientific facts, not political ideology. ACOG opposes SB 132 and SB 353 which interfere with medical practice and the patient-physician relationship. Politicians are not elected to, nor should they, pretend they’re doctors or step foot into our exam rooms.

Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, President
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Washington, DC

Haywood L. Brown, MD
Chair, District IV, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Durham, NC


Posted by: Charlotte Miller (Columbus, OH, USA) on August 15, 2013 8:08AM
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