This Sunday will mark two years since Governor DeWine signed the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act, Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, into law. On the two-year anniversary of this historic signing, I thought it would be helpful to catch Pro-Life Ohio up to speed on where our Heartbeat Bill currently stands.
On April 11th, 2019, Governor DeWine signed the Heartbeat Bill into law—the first of many pro-life laws he has signed since taking office. This bill would have prohibited abortion when a human heartbeat could be detected via abdominal ultrasound, which is usually between eight and twelve weeks.
As expected, Planned Parenthood, along with their pro-abortion allies, brought a lawsuit against the Heartbeat Bill almost immediately after it was signed into law. They knew that, if allowed to go into effect, the Heartbeat Bill would decimate their abortion business. At Ohio Right to Life, however, we knew that if the Heartbeat Bill went to court, it could possibly serve as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade and give Ohio the ability to completely ban abortion.
In July of 2019, Judge Michael Barrett of the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio temporarily blocked the Heartbeat Bill from going into effect. Early last month, he extended that block pending court rulings on Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act and a pro-life law from Tennessee which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat could can be detected, among other things. As always, we will continue to update Pro-Life Ohio as the Heartbeat Bill works its way through the courts.
Although Ohio’s battle to end abortion remains ongoing, it is not without moments of victory. The Heartbeat Bill first originated in Ohio and has sparked a nationwide movement. In fact, nine other states have since passed their own versions of this groundbreaking legislation—aimed at challenging one of the most egregious Supreme Court rulings ever made in our nation’s history.
As Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill continues to move through the courts with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, we will continue our tireless advocacy for the most vulnerable among us. We will keep pushing forward to pass life-saving legislation with the help of Ohio’s strong pro-life leaders like Governor DeWine. Through ups and downs, Ohio Right to Life will never falter in our mission: to make abortion not just illegal but unthinkable in our great state.
To every one of you who has boldly stood alongside us in our fight to protect innocent human— from the bottom of our hearts—thank you. Your compassion and conviction are a source of constant inspiration and a reminder that regardless of what obstacles may stand in the pro-life movement’s way, we know that in the end, life will win.
Together, we are Pro-Life Ohio and we will end abortion.
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 40 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.