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Activists Planning Bill To Ban Abortion In Ohio If Roe V. Wade Is Overturned

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.
Alex Brandon
/
AP
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.

Anti-abortion activists in Ohio are cheering the nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. They plan to celebrate with a bill that would ban all abortions in Ohio if the landmark "Roe v. Wade" decision is overturned.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for," says Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis. "This is our moment and it’s our time."

Gonidakis said he expects Barrett to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. Confirmation hearings start on October 12.

With Republicans opposed to abortion leading the Ohio House, Senate and the governor’s office, Gonidakis said Senate President Larry Obhof will introduce a bill to kill abortion in Ohio if "Roe" is overturned.

“What we’re doing with our trigger bill is saying, we’re banning abortion from the moment of conception except to save the life of the mother," Gonidakis said.

The bill would not penalize women, Gonidakis says, but a doctor who performs abortion could face a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

Gonidakis says he guarantees there are enough votes in the legislature to pass the bill, which they call the "Human Life Protection Act," this year.

Some recent abortion restrictions in Ohio have been blocked by courts. A ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected passed last year 56-40 in the House and 18-13 in the Senate, and was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, but it’s on hold because of legal action.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland said in a statement after the nomination of Barrett: “Being able to have an abortion or continue a pregnancy is a fundamental human right. You, and only you, should be able to make that decision about your body and your future. But that’s not what Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, believes. Barrett is so extreme; she doesn’t even think that health insurance coverage should include contraception. Her outright hostility to the basic human right to bodily autonomy disqualifies her from a life-time appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court."