While Republican lawmakers in Washington execute the most “comprehensive” assault on women’s rights, Republican-led state legislators are working at break-neck speed to develop the most extreme anti-choice legislation. Taking to that mission with zeal, Ohio state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R) unveiled the “heartbeat bill” last week, the “first proposal of it’s kind” that would “prohibit women from ending pregnancies at the first detectable fetal heartbeat,” which can come as early as 18 days after conception, when most women don’t even know they are pregnant.
Admitting that “there is no scenario” in which this bill survives in court, Ohio Right To Life and the right-wing advocacy group Faith2Action are still going to absurd lengths for the sake of promotion. Tomorrow at a hearing on the bill, the House Health Committee will hear “testimony” from its youngest witness ever: a “nine-week old” fetus:
“For the first time in a committee hearing, legislators will be able to see and hear the beating heart of a baby in the womb–just like the ones the Heartbeat Bill will protect,” said Janet (Folger) Porter, President of Faith2Action, and former Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life, where she helped pass the nation’s first ban on Partial Birth Abortion.
Two in-utero babies will appear live before the committee by an ultrasound projector which is able to not only show that baby’s moving arms and legs, but also display–in color–the baby’s beating heart. “When passed, the Heartbeat Bill will insure that once that heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected,” added Porter.
As Right Wing Watch notes, this is certainly not Porter’s first time at the ridiculous rodeo. Last year, Porter lost her radio program after she organized a “May Day prayer rally” at the Lincoln Memorial to advertise her “dominion” theology — “the idea that Christians are called to take complete control over every aspect of human life in order to bring about the return of Christ.” She also served as the co-chair of Mike Huckabee’s Faith and Family Values Coalition when he ran for president.
Despite the probable failure of Porter’s efforts, her sideshow has secured 50 cosponsors. But as NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s executive director Kellie Copeland told ThinkProgress, “the committee won’t hear from women who have made the profoundly personal decision to terminate a pregnancy.” “The politicians behind this bill refuse to acknowledge what Ohioans understand: Every woman’s situation is different, and it’s unacceptable for anti-choice lawmakers to think they should make the personal, private decisions that belong to women and their doctors.”