August 3, 2015

Ohio Budget imposes new abortion restrictions, redefines basic biology

Just when we thought the Ohio budget couldn’t get any worse for Ohio women, it did.

Yesterday a conference committee met to announce they had added language [view amendment] to the state budget — borrowed from the controversial heartbeat bill — that requires a physician to inform women in writing of the presence of a fetal heartbeat and the statistical likelihood that her fetus could be carried to term. The Department of Health would draft rules for how a fetal heartbeat can be detected, but those rules may only require an external exam. Civil, disciplinary and criminal penalties are included for doctors who purposefully perform or induce an abortion on a woman without fully meeting the new requirements

The amendment also contains some concerning changes to the definitions of ‘fetus’ and ‘pregnancy.’  The bill now defines fetus as: “human offspring developing during pregnancy from the moment of conception and includes the embryonic stage of development,” and declares that pregnancy begins with fertilization.  Biological science defines pregnancy as begin at implantation in the uterine lining. Changing these definitions could have many unforeseen ramifications, including implications for many commonly-used forms of birth control.

Ohio Republicans want to completely redefine this.

Ohio Republicans want to completely redefine this.

All this occurred without testimony from medical professionals or an opportunity for input from the public. It joins many other provisions impacting women that are already in the budget.

HB 59 heads to the full House and Senate for floor votes on Thursday, and on to Governor Kasich’s for his signature, which must happen before July 1. Kasich has line-item veto authority to remove these provisions, and we hope he stands with both women and science to these major changes to Ohio law that have not been properly vetted and do not belong in budget legislation.

Download the full “informed consent” amendment to HB 59.



  1. Sarah Courtney says:

    This bill is full of sh*t. Get government out of my womb and start concentrating on jobs and economic opportunities.

  2. Mary Hazlett says:

    a fetus is a potential human. for christians, a fetus was not a person until it drew its first breath. jesus did not address abortion, which was rampant in his time. if you are going to get into uteruses to keep fetus alive, then you must provide the expectant mother with healthcare, food, and lodging before and after birth, because you have made her your business.

    • SandraLouise says:

      I wish the (temporary) MEN in power would choose to solve the problems in this country and world that make it an unwelcomed place for (many!) expectant mothers and their babies. The problem would resolve itself. Does the GOP have any other platforms???

  3. Steve Burdick says:

    Sounds like our government is implimenting 1984. The government is by the people, for the people, NOT to be people controlled in all areas of their lives by the government. FREEDOM will march on, it might just march on our government.

  4. ronna watson says:

    You cannot just change terminology and biology without even so much as a degree in biology. Pushing a religious agenda violates separation of church and state, is unprofessional and you are practicing medicine without a license when you tell medical doctors what to say when you have no medical license and basis on which to change terminology or determine appropriate medical care. As a Jewish woman, you have stamped on my religious law which is that abortion is required when the health of the mother is at risk. How dare you? Say goodbye to public office.

  5. David Allen says:

    If Governor Kasich allows this to pass, I’ll just assume he doesn’t want another term as governor. I’ll work to make that happen. Typical Tea Bagger: save the fetus, starve the child.

  6. I am appalled at the zeal with which legislators are redefining constitutional law.

    How about our politicians focus on truly important issues, such as balancing budgets, road repairs, medical coverage and food for the poor.

    How long are we going to beat this dead horse?! Get over it, abortion became legal in 1973!

  7. Im so tired of this RADIOEDIT face Gov.The USA is going down like a turd in a toilet, sad days! My grandfather who fought for the freedoms we have today would be so depressed at the state of this country. Kasich your a fucking idiot!


  1. […] the fetus’ likelihood of “surviving to full term.”  As the policy group Innovation Ohio notes, this language is borrowed from the controversial “heartbeat” ban that Ohio Republicans tried […]

  2. […] a process organisation Innovation Ohio notes, this denunciation is borrowed from a argumentative “heartbeat” anathema that Ohio Republicans […]

  3. […] facilities that also provide abortions, and doctors will have to carry out an exam to check for a fetal heartbeat and inform the woman in writing of the presence of a heartbeat. Governor Kasich approved all this […]

  4. […] added at the last minute, requires doctors to detect a fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion and redefined a medical emergency such that a women who is having a  miscarriage will have to wait 24 hours […]

  5. […] the policy group Innovation Ohio notes, this language is borrowed from the controversial “heartbeat” ban that Ohio Republicans […]

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