Although juxtaposed one on top of the other, there was no obvious connection between two front-page stories in Wednesday’s Dispatch, beyond the fact that both were written by public affairs reporter Jim Siegel. But make no mistake: The lead story headlined Senate halts abortion bill for this year had everything to do with the story below it, High court OKs legislative maps. The latter story enabled the former.
Does the Heartbeat Bill still have a heartbeat? Backers of the legislation, which would ban abortions within weeks of conception, think so, and they’re hoping to persuade 17 Republican senators to back a plan that would force a floor vote. “The Republican Senate majority has the power to force a floor vote — regardless of Niehaus’ obstruction,” Lori Viars, vice president of Warren County Right to Life, said in a released statement. “They’ve had two years to pass this bill. Are Senate Republicans who ran as pro-lifers really going to let this bill die?”
Opponents of abortion have been trying hard to get the Ohio Senate to vote for the heartbeat bill legislation that would outlaw abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected. There was hope that the Senate would pass it in the remaining weeks of the general assembly during the lame duck session. But Senate President Tom Niehaus says he’s not going to allow that bill to come up for a vote now.
COLUMBUS — Proposed bills to cut, if not eliminate, family-planning funding for Planned Parenthood and all but outlaw abortions in Ohio ran into a brick wall in the state Senate on Tuesday. Senate President Tom Niehaus (R., New Richmond), said he will not bring either measure to the chamber’s floor during the lame-duck session. That would mean the bills would die with the close of the two-year session in mid-December and would have to start the legislative process over next year.