Pushing HB 125, group delivers roses
By Marc Kovac
Proponents of legislation that would ban abortions within weeks of conception continued their weekly push Tuesday for a floor vote in the Ohio Senate.
Using Valentine’s Day as the backdrop, the group delivered more than 2,000 roses to Ohio senators, along with short notes urging them to move House Bill 125.
“It’s time that we take action upon our pro-life beliefs that many senators — the vast majority of senators — espouse in their districts,” said Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, a Republican from Napoleon and primary sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill. “It’s time to stop talking and start acting.”
HB 125 would prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. Supporters believe it could serve as the vehicle for prompting the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But the legislation has caused a split among anti-abortion groups in the state. Ohio Right To Life, which is not supporting the bill, believes the legislation may not stand up to legal challenges and could hurt other legislative efforts aimed at stopping abortions.
HB 125 passed the Ohio House last June but has stalled in the Senate, where leaders have indicated there will be no hearings or action until after the March primary. The House and Senate sessions this week are the last scheduled before next month’s election.
That’s not soon enough for Heartbeat Bill proponents, who delivered roses Tuesday in their latest attempt to prompt a floor vote.
Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus and other members of the chamber’s leadership received 144 flowers each. Members of the committee considering the legislation received nine dozen. All senators of both parties received at least a few dozen.
Sen. Shannon Jones, a Republican from southwestern Ohio, received the highest number — 20 dozen.
“We’ve had the hearings in the Senate, proponent, opponent, interested party,” said Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action. “Now the only thing that needs to happen is for the bill to be called for a vote so that babies with beating hearts can be protected.”