Wednesday, February 09, 2011

St. Rep. Wachtmann’s “Heartbeat Bill” Will Protect Ohio’s Unborn

COLUMBUS—At a press conference, State Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) today unveiled legislation that, when enacted, will protect the lives of Ohio’s babies starting with their first detectable heartbeat.
This bill, known as the Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act, or the “Heartbeat Bill,” will prohibit individuals from performing an abortion on pregnant women prior to testing whether the fetus she is carrying possesses a detectible heartbeat. If a heartbeat is detected according to standard medical practice, an abortion will be prohibited by law unless the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the mother.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to restore legal protection to babies whose hearts are beating,” said Wachtmann. “When passed, this legislation will be the nation’s strongest pro-life legislation. Nearly half of the Ohio House of Representatives have already signed on as cosponsors to the Heartbeat Bill.”
Cardiac activity in a fetus begins at a biologically identifiable time, normally when the fetal heart is formed in the gestational sac. While as many as 30 percent of natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage, less than five percent of all natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage after the detection of fetal cardiac activity[1]. Therefore, many believe that fetal heartbeat is a medical predictor that an unborn baby will reach viability and live birth.
“Other states are already looking to Ohio to lead the way and provide model legislation for them to pass in their states,” said Wachtmann. “After all, Ohio is the ‘heart of it all,’ so it is only fitting that we protect our fellow human beings with beating hearts.”
The Heartbeat Bill will soon be assigned to a House committee, where it will undergo further debate and deliberation.
[1] Oxford Journals, Human Reproduction, Vol. 20, Issue 11: 3008-3011