Senate Democrats Strongly Oppose Last-Minute Six-Week Abortion Ban Amendment
Similar legislation in other states has been ruled unconstitutional
December 06, 2016
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COLUMBUS – Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus voiced strong opposition to the last-minute addition of a 6-week abortion ban to House Bill 493. Senate Democrats originally objected to the amendment on the grounds that it was improperly filed. Democrats then voted against the amendment and the bill. HB 493 eventually passed 21-10.

The “heartbeat” amendment, which would make Ohio’s abortion laws the strictest in the nation, has been struck down several times throughout the country as unconstitutional. In January 2016, the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that such bans are unconstitutional.

Democratic senators released the following statements in response to the amendment.

Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), Senate Minority Leader:

“Instead of spending state resources on issues like Ohio’s opioid crisis, my Republican colleagues vote for years of expensive lawsuits by passing an unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban. To the taxpayers of Ohio, I am sorry that your money will have to be used to defend this bill in the court system.”

Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus), Assistant Senate Minority Leader:

“We allowed a good bill that protects the health and safety of children to be bastardized into a government takeover of women’s wombs. The Ohio legislature does not reflect the views of the majority of Ohioans – especially with no exceptions for the immoral and criminal acts of rape and incest against women.”

Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard):

"I've said it time and time again: the government has no place in making health care decisions for women. My hope is that the House rejects the concurrence and, if not, Governor Kasich will line-item veto this unconstitutional provision. We need to stop these attacks on women and their reproductive rights."

Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati):

“Legislation of this magnitude should be dealt with in the appropriate committee and not rushed through lame duck. By doing it this way, we have taken serious input away from the communities that will be most affected by this bill.”

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