Saturday, December 17, 2016

6.9 - Update: Ohio Gov. John NotOKsich signs 20-week abortion ban

Update: Ohio Gov. John NotOKsich signs 20-week abortion ban

One last Update. Last week I mentioned that Keith Faber, the president of the Ohio State Senate, had said that the election of TheRump was what prompted the Ohio legislature to pass the nation's strictest anti-choice measure, one that would ban abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, a time when many women won't even realize they are pregnant.

As a quick sidebar, it's worth mentioning that "fetal heartbeat," as applied to such a law, is medically inaccurate: The proper term is "fetal pole cardiac activity" and what is being detected isn't actually a heartbeat, as there is at that point no heart.

But getting back to the bill, the Update here is that Gov. John NotOKsich, in a move happily endorsed by Ohio No Right to Choose - aka Ohio Right to Life - vetoed the six-week ban but signed the bill the anti-choicers really wanted, which had been passed at the same time: a ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, which right now matches the strictest ban in the country.

See, the forced birthers know full well that the fetal-heartbeat bill didn't have a chance of being sustained in court, particularly since the two states to enact such a law were shot down in court in no uncertain terms.

But they wanted Ohio to join the 18 other states which have at some point passed a 20-week ban and with the passage of the fetal-heartbeat measure, NotOKsich was presented with the opportunity to do what he so loves to do: appear moderate by adopting the supposed "middle" course - the ban after 20 weeks - while actually seeking to advance the agenda of the reactionaries.

Three states - Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho - have seen their 20-week bans challenged in federal court. All three lost and in all three cases, the Supreme Court refused to take the case. But because that just let lower-court rulings stand, no national ruling has been made and the forced birthers are hoping the 20-week standard at some point will prove to be a wedge to get SCOTUS, thickened with one or two reactionaries attained during the regime of the Great Orange One, to overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.

It's also important to note that none of this happened without resistance. On Saturday, December 10, protesters descended on the Ohio statehouse and hung coat hangers all along the statehouse fence. Naturally, the hangers were taken down by officials - but the protesters came back on Sunday the 11th and put more up.

The symbolism of the wire coat hanger is a potent one. I have said a number of times that I am old enough to remember without being prompted the meaning of that symbol. And I say again that I have no desire to return to those times.

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