A group of Ohio Republican lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would ban most abortions in the state. The bill is similar to a Texas law that forbids abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected but goes further in that all abortions would be banned, except in the case where a mother's life is at risk.
Leading the charge with the proposed law is state Rep. Jena Powell, who introduced the bill called the "2363 Act" Tuesday. The number 2363 is a reminder of the number of abortions performed in the U.S. on any given day in 2017.
"The sanctity of human life, born and preborn, must be preserved in Ohio," Powell said in a statement to Cleveland.com.
"The 2363 Act is about protecting our fundamental, constitutional right to be born and live. Abortion kills children, scars families, and harms women. We can and must do better," the statement continued.
The bill's other primary co-sponsor is State Rep. Thomas Hall of Butler County. Hall, 26, noted in a statement that he and Powell, as the two youngest members of the Ohio House, "are part of the generation that will end abortion in Ohio and across America."
Like the Texas law, the bill allows citizens—"any person"—to file civil lawsuits seeking $10,000 or more against anyone in Ohio who perform abortions or "knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion," including paying for it via insurance.
More than half of the Republican caucus, 33 of 64 members, joined in as co-sponsors.
In a statement, Ohio Democrat and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes called the bill "a dangerous attack on health care rights and an embarrassment for our state. Ohio Republicans want to control women, but we won't be silent."
Ohio Planned Parenthood's Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin weighed in against the legislation, saying in a statement, "Ohio has once again proved it is one of the most extreme states for abortion access."
"Banning abortion would be catastrophic to communities across Ohio," and added that "lawmakers and anti-abortion vigilantes have no business making personal medical decisions for their neighbors," the statement continued.
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