COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Women in red robes and white bonnets sat silently as members of the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee opened debate Tuesday on the latest proposed abortion restrictions. They were dressed as handmaids from the fictional novel, The Handmaid’s Tale – a story set in a futuristic society where handmaids are forced to bear children for wealthy and powerful men.
Jaime Miracle, policy director of NARAL Ohio said the protest provided an appropriate parallel to the latest pro-life bill being debated that would ban most abortions after the first trimester. “Ohio is creating that class of low-income, women of color who can’t access abortion care and are being forced to give birth against their will in our state,” Miracle said.
Lima Republican Sen. Matt Huffman says his proposal is meant to ban dismemberment abortions – procedures where fetal tissue is removed in pieces using surgical instruments and suction. “The bill itself deals with a particularly brutal form of abortion,” Huffman said. “We have to consider this kind of procedure now that medical science has progressed to the point where we understand more about an unborn child.”
Co-sponsor Sen. Steve Wilson, a Republican from Warren County, says the abortion issue comes down to deciding when a fetus in the womb is a human being. “We’re talking about a human being and if that is the case then no other action can be taken than to ban this brutality – to ban this egregious procedure,” Wilson said.
Seven other state legislatures have passed laws banning the procedure but several are facing court challenges.
Miracle says such a ban could have a significant impact in Ohio.”It is the most commonly used procedure in the second trimester so this will ban almost all second-trimester abortions in the state of Ohio,” Miracle said.