Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

Pro-life gains and losses in Ohio

Abortion | Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs a dismemberment bill but vetoes a heartbeat measure for a second time
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 12/31/18, 03:20 pm

The Ohio state Senate last week came one vote short of overriding a veto by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on a bill that would have protected babies from abortion after a detectable heartbeat. Kasich, a Republican, said he vetoed the bill for the second time in two years because it would saddle the state with a costly court battle and would ultimately be declared unconstitutional.

On the same day Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill he signed a measure making “dismemberment abortion” a fourth-degree felony for abortionists.

During the dismemberment procedure, most commonly used during the second trimester, abortionists kill and extract an unborn child by removing it piecemeal from the mother’s womb. The new law, which goes into effect in March, bans the practice unless the unborn child is already dead, with exceptions for rape and danger to the mother’s life.

Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said in a statement that his group is “immensely grateful” to Kasich and the legislature for the success of the bill: “Ohioans can sleep easier tonight knowing that the horrendous practice of dismemberment abortions is behind us.”

Ohio becomes the 10th state to pass legislation to block the practice, but only two other states—Mississippi and West Virginia—have been able to retain their laws after pro-abortion groups filed suit. Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have all faced legal challenges to their dismemberment bans, with some legal battles ongoing. Earlier this month, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its case defending its dismemberment abortion protections.

Steven Aden, chief legal officer at Americans United for Life, told me he thinks Ohio’s law will probably go the way of many others. He anticipates a legal challenge by an abortion advocacy group and for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike it down.

“The citizens of Ohio are to be applauded for their zeal in protecting innocent human life,” Aden said. “I wish them all the very best, but we think there are better vehicles that will survive a court scrutiny, and actually be enacted to protect innocent life, like 20-week limits, prenatal non-discrimination act bills, human fetal remains provisions and things like that.”

He added that the U.S. Supreme Court is not likely “ready to go this far this fast at this time” in considering a dismemberment abortion case. He also said the high court would essentially have to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision for a detectable heartbeat law to stand.

Kasich has a strong pro-life record, and last year signed a law protecting the unborn from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But he agrees with Aden on the hearbeat bill, noting in a statement that although he has “worked hard to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of Human life,” the heartbeat bill runs counter to Supreme Court precedent and would have cost Ohio taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Ohio’s next legislative session could revive the heartbeat bill, and if it does, incoming Gov. Mike DeWine, also a Republican, said he would sign it.

Associated Press/Photo by Peter Morrison Associated Press/Photo by Peter Morrison A woman in Dublin, Ireland, celebrates after the final results of the referendum on abortion were announced on May 26.

Ireland’s president signs abortion bill

Abortion will soon be legal in Ireland, nearly seven months after Irish voters passed a referendum cutting legal protections for the unborn from the Irish Constitution. The referendum in May opened the door for Ireland’s legislature to draft a bill legalizing abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. President Michael Higgins signed the legislation shortly before Christmas and it will go into effect Tuesday.

Pro-life doctors and nurses said they felt ignored in the drafting of the legislation, contending the law will demand they violate their consciences by requiring them to refer patients for abortions. The law also requires hospitals to perform abortions.

Pro Life Campaign’s Ruth Cullen said the law is “built on a lie that will not make Ireland a kinder, gentler, more compassionate place,” adding, “[The law] represents the abandonment of authentic human rights for a slogan called ‘choice’ that is nothing more than a code word for the taking of innocent human life.” —S.G. by Jomkwan by Jomkwan

New Mexico considers assisted suicide via telemedicine

Legislators in New Mexico will consider a bill that would open the door to assisted suicide by telemedicine. The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act would allow doctors to remotely consult with terminally ill patients and prescribe life-ending drugs.

Six states already allow assisted suicide, including Hawaii, which legalized the practice in March.

Alex Schadenberg, director of the Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, wrote that the bill could “allow suicide tourism.” He also pointed out that the bill allows euthanasia—death at the hands of a second party—since it doesn’t require people to self-administer the lethal drugs. It also allows assisted suicide for people with mental disorders, only requires the opinion of one medical assessor, and requires doctors to refer patients for assisted suicide.

“H.B. 90 is so wide that a hearse can drive through it,” he said. —S.G.

YouTube censors pro-life videos

YouTube restructured its search results for “abortion” after pro-abortion writer April Glaser complained the video-hosting site was prioritizing pro-life videos in Google search results, according to The Daily Wire. Pro-life videos by Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro and pro-life group Live Action now appear far down on the list. The videos previously appeared near the top. Glaser bragged on Twitter earlier this month that, “YouTube changed the results after I asked.”

Firing back at Glaser, Live Action tweeted, “So you pressured @YouTube to hide our educational, scientifically accurate videos—but claim to be ‘pro-choice?’” —S.G.

Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes

Shortly after banning abortion giant Marie Stopes International, Kenya’s ministry of health said it had completed an audit and announced this month that the organization could resume operations. Kenyan law protects the unborn from abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger. —S.G.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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  • Janet B
    Posted: Tue, 01/01/2019 01:01 am

    How do I complain to YouTube that they are prioritizing pro-abortion videos? Surely what is good for the goose....

    Or do we just need to bombard YouTube with abortion video requests for these 2 groups?

  • Laneygirl's picture
    Posted: Tue, 01/01/2019 08:53 am

    The rapturous and victorious look on the face of that Irish female  broke my heart. How the Lord must weep over her.

    John Kasich's reasoning that we can't fight the heartbeat bill so let's give up is the same one that puts your 12 year old daughter on birth control pills. She's going to do it anyway so why not protect her?

  • Laura W
    Posted: Sun, 01/06/2019 07:10 am

    I haven't seen anything to indicate that Gov. Kasich wants to "give up" on the heartbeat bill--have you? You can disagree with his strategy, but from everything I've heard, his goal is the same--protect as many unborn babies as possible, as quickly as possible.

  • Bob Hinkley
    Posted: Tue, 01/01/2019 12:40 pm

    Happy New Year. God help us.

  • zonie
    Posted: Fri, 01/04/2019 11:28 pm

    The bill could “allow suicide tourism” sounds like a horror movie. You know, the one where someone goes in but no one ever comes out.  Horror indeed.