Republican Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus says he will not work to pass legislation that could outlaw abortions in Ohio, saying the bill is flawed.
The state’s “heartbeat bill” has already triggered a split among Ohio’s pro-lifers, reports the Columbus Dispatch
, because they disagree about whether it’s a good idea to pass a law that will likely be declared unconstitutional.
Niehaus, in a letter to “fellow pro-life Ohioans,” criticized the bill’s supporters for exaggerating in their complaints about the commitment of his fellow Republicans in the Senate to pass the bill.
“Unfortunately, leaders of an organization called Faith2Action have made exaggerated and inflammatory statements,” Niehaus said. “Their claim that we ‘lose more than a school bus full of children every day’ due to a lack of Senate action on the bill is simply false, and I will not continue to allow this organization to question the commitment of my colleagues to ending the scourge of abortion.”
“Ohio Senate Republicans have done more in the past 16 months to advance the protection of unborn children than any previous General Assembly in state’s history,” he said.
Faith2Action, run by former Ohio Right to Life legislative director Janet Folger Porter, has advertised in newspapers, swamped lawmakers with phone calls, and held several rallies to urge lawmakers to pass the bill.
“It's time for Senate leadership to quit hiding behind empty excuses and bring the fully protective Heartbeat Bill to a floor vote or admit the pro-life platforms they ran on were a charade,” Porter said.
The House approved the legislation last year, but after several Senate meetings, Niehaus asked anti-abortion forces to come together and work out a compromise. That has not happened.
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