Ohio Republicans leapfrogged other states in crafting what could be the most radical anti-choice bills in the nation, the “heartbeat” bill. Passed in the state house this summer, the bill bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — an occurrence that can happen “six to seven weeks into a pregnancy” or before many women even knows their pregnant. The measure contains no exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or for the mental health of a woman.
To convince the state House Health Committee of the bill’s merits, activists recruited the youngest witness ever to “testify”: a nine-week-old fetus. Unfortunately for the group, the sideshow failed, since the fetus’s heartbeat was pretty much undetectable. Several months later, and with the bill now before the state senate, Republicans brought in the nine-week-old baby that has developed from the fetal “witness” to act as a “silent witness“:
The only silent witness was Halley Carolina Glockner, an infant who was carried into the hearing room by a smiling Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay. Halley’s mother, Erin Glockner of Pataskala, underwent an ultrasound exam during an appearance at a House committee meeting in March.
“You heard her heart then and now you can see her face and look into her eyes,” said Ducia Hamm, of the Ashland Care Center. “This child deserved to have her heart continue to beat.”
The Republican legislators refused to allow a woman who had been “making ‘pro-life’ choices” her whole life testify against the bill. She wanted to tell her story about how she had to end her pregnancy after learning of a fetal anomaly that was fatal.
Incidentally, not all of Ohio’s anti-choice activists support the bill. More radical local chapters are fleeing the Ohio Right to Life organization because the state group knows that the likely unconstitutional measure will be struck down by the Supreme Court. Ohio Right to Life said the bill is “likely to backfire” and set back their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.