Ohio lawmaker moves toward post-Roe landscape

Policy RadarEarlier this week, state Representative Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) introduced legislation, House Bill 284 of the 127th Ohio General Assembly which would effectively end the practice of abortion in the state of Ohio.

The bill, similar to a measure Brinkman sponsored in the previous session which was only allowed one hearing, would change Ohio law to provide criminal penalties for doctors performing abortions. The bill is clear on this point, stating that “no person shall perform or induce an abortion.” A violation of the bill’s provisions would be a second-degree felony, which carries a jail sentence of two to eight years and a maximum fine of $15,000. A subsequent violation by the same offender would move this to a first-degree felony, which has a three to 10 year prison term and a $20,000 fine.

The bill, which would also ban the controversial drug RU-486, has already raised the opposition of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. Their director, Kellie Copeland, claims that the bill is “out of touch with Ohio mainstream values” in comments given to the Columbus Dispatch. Which stream is Ms. Copeland thinking of, the polluted Cuyahoga River? Murder of innocent human beings is never, we hope, a “mainstream value” to any Ohioan.

The state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee is already waving a white flag on the issue. Their position, that pro-abortion Governor Ted Strickland would veto any legislation restricting abortion (a key campaign promise the then-candidate made to the Planned Parenthood affiliates of Ohio) and therefore pushing such legislation is futile, neglects that one salient outcome of recording the votes of legislators on this issue will clearly draw a bright line on who does and does not believe in the protection of innocent life. That information gathering alone makes supporting House Bill 284 worthwhile.

The Institute for Principled Policy salutes Rep. Brinkman on his effort to protect the most vulnerable citizens of our state. Speaker Jon Husted has stated that he must “poll his caucus” to see if there is “interest” in this bill when the House returns for session later this fall. Let’s help the Speaker conduct his poll. Contact your state representative and ask them to take an “interest” in HB284 by representing the will of their constituents and supporting this important legislation.