April 11, 2011

Ohio Right to Life in Dispatch

I was taken aback by the long message in local church bulletin concerning the fractiousness between pro-life groups concerning the wisdom of the Heartbeat bill. It was a long plea for peace, for unity. And now I see a letter in the Dispatch about the bill:
Heartbeat bill' won't get the job done
Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ohio Right to Life has over the years been held in high regard by state officials, resulting even this year in the fast-tracking of legislation that makes abortion more and more difficult within the context of existing law and court decisions. For example, the Ohio House of Representatives has passed a bill that would stop judges from rubber-stamping approval for the requests of minor girls who seek to avoid telling and getting the consent of their parents for an abortion.

Ohio Right to Life's endorsed bills currently before the General Assembly include Senate Bill 72 and House Bill 78, which would prohibit abortion after the time of viability outside the womb, or around 20 to 23 weeks of pregnancy. Passage of these bills would constitutionally and legally ensure implementation immediately.

Very little opposition to this legislation arose during committee hearings. In other words, by pushing the envelope incrementally, and until Roe vs. Wade can be overturned, almost 1,000 abortions would be stopped annually.

This legislation — called the late-term abortion ban — is yet another step in a national, carefully determined strategy of steps with the ultimate goal of eradication of abortion in Ohio and the United States. This strategy has an obvious goal of overturning Roe vs. Wade entirely. In the meantime we continue to chip away with significant gains in saving lives of unborn children as best we can without ignoring the current legal conditions.

Others are advancing House Bill 125, the so-called heartbeat bill. At first blush, it seems like the right idea. However, in its current form, the bill contains insufficient language to survive any court challenge whatsoever. Federal courts have uniformly ruled that specific language must be included in any abortion-related legislation, and without such language, any state laws would immediately be ruled unconstitutional.

If passed in its current form, the heartbeat bill would not save a single baby’s life. Further, the federal courts would award fees to Planned Parenthood’s attorneys, resulting in hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars essentially supporting abortion. The heartbeat bill also is outside the current framework allowed under case law, and there are not enough justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade — at least not yet.

Accordingly, Ohio Right to Life is correctly using strategies that are immediately achievable in the saving of as many lives of the unborn as possible. We align ourselves with the Catholic Church and other church teaching in order to achieve the ultimate goal while working to preserve life in the present moment.

BERNARD SCHLUETER

Board member

Ohio Right to Life

Dublin

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