This Easter Sunday arrives with Ohio enacting one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the nation.
Much of the credit belongs to Gov. Mike DeWine. He never flinched during his campaign in stating he would sign a heartbeat bill should the state legislature hand him one. DeWine lived up to his promise. In signing the bill into law, DeWine said he believes medical knowledge since the passage of Roe vs. Wade justifies the heartbeat law.
It is refreshing to have a chief executive who so strongly believes government has a role in protecting life, from the beginning to the end. It’s really not a complicated position: If life ends when a person’s heart quits beating, it only makes sense that life begins when the sound of a child’s heart is first detected.
Ohio’s law will go into effect in July, making it the sixth state to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which generally happens at six weeks. Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Dakota have enacted heartbeat laws. Similar versions of the ban are moving through the legislatures of several states.
Yes, this is a movement to push the nation into a fight to undo Roe vs. Wade.
That’s not a bad thing.
It’s time to throw down the gauntlet on one of the Supreme Court’s most dreadful mistakes. The heartbeat laws do just that. Rather than regulate the practice, they put severe restrictions on when an abortion can occur, and in the process, eliminate most currently legal abortions.
If such a law means overruling Roe vs. Wade, so be it.
What’s disgusting is the level of hatred in this debate. We’ve seen it in the letters published in this newspaper in the Your View column on this very page. Some of those letters would have you believe that all Democrats are for abortion and all Republicans are against it. That’s simply not true. Many of the letters are filled with wild accusations. We publish the letters because we see it as an important forum for people to share their thoughts, not because we agree with what they say.
There are parts of Ohio’s heartbeat law in which we disagree, namely that there is no exception for victims of rape or incest. Such victims had no choice in becoming pregnant. They should not be treated the same as others, who made a choice, but now want to avoid the consequences by taking a human life.
Abortion opponents gathered around DeWine and cheered as he signed the bill into law 10 days ago. The legal landscape is changing. Anti-abortion advocates see the arrival of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as the light at the end of the tunnel in their quest to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
The legal fight that Ohio and others are provoking could be the spark in making that happen.