Ohio House Bill 493: Heartbeats in the Heartland
This Christmas, Ohio isn’t trying to celebrate one birth — but several! Before the Buckeye legislature wraps for the holidays, locals are hoping Governor John Kasich (R) lives up to his pro-life promises and signs two bills that would help protect the Heartland’s unborn.
The first bill is one that should be very familiar to conservatives: a 20-week abortion ban that would outlaw the procedure when the baby can feel pain. The second, which has been championed by the youngest member of the Ohio legislature — 28-year-old Christina Hagen — takes aim at abortion even earlier, when the heartbeat is first detected. “President-elect Trump has drastically shifted the dynamics,” Christina, who’s served in the legislature since 2011, told the New York Times. “I honestly could not have foreseen this victory a week or a month ago.” As pro-life members have argued in Congress, there are only 7 countries in the world that allow the killing of unborn children at or beyond five months of pregnancy, the age at which unborn babies can feel excruciating pain. At this point in pregnancy, the most common method of abortion is dismemberment, which tears a baby apart, piece by painful piece.
The United States of America, founded on the basic principle of the God-given, unalienable right to life for all, joins North Korea, China, and Vietnam in this inhumane practice. And while the U.S. House has done its part in trying to end America’s inclusion in this deadly club, they haven’t had the benefit of a pro-life president. In the void, several states have stepped in to stop the brutality within their borders.
As FRC’s Arina Grossu points out in a detailed paper about the science behind bills like Ohio’s:
“There is no question, biologically speaking, about whether an unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization. By 18 weeks post-fertilization, nerves link pain receptors to the brain’s thalamus (the pain processing center). By 18 weeks post-fertilization, the cerebral cortex (the region of the brain associated with higher mental functions) has acquired a full complement of neurons, meaning all of the neurons are present, though not all the connections in the cortex are fully developed until later. EEG activity, a recording of electrical activity in the brain, appears for the first time at 18 weeks post-fertilization, showing the integrity of the circuitries of the cortex and the thalamus.”
Practically speaking, if babies couldn’t feel pain, why would doctors administer anesthesia in utero? “The common practice is based on the science of fetal development and the observation that unborn children who are not given anesthesia elicit a hormonal stress response to painful stimuli, which is alleviated by the effects of anesthesia as it is in adults,” Arina explains. If Kasich signs it Ohio would become the 18th state with a pain-capable law on the books. Throughout the presidential campaign, the Buckeye governor boasted about his pro-life credentials. Now is the time to prove it!
If you’re an Ohio resident, sign here to urge Governor Kasich to protect life!
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