Ohio lawmakers, inspired by the Texas Heartbeat Act, filed new pro-life legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives. The measure, House Bill 480, is titled the 2363 Act, reflecting the number of abortions performed daily in America.
The proposed law would protect unborn human life from the moment of fertilization until birth, and create an exception where the mother’s life is at risk.
The bill is similar to the Texas law because it permits private citizens to sue anyone who performs, induces, aids, or abets an abortion. That specific provision from the Texas law is currently being reviewed at the United States Supreme Court. The Court heard oral arguments regarding the Texas Heartbeat Act on November 1, 2021, and has not yet ruled on the law’s legality. You can read more about that Supreme Court hearing here.
State Representatives Jen Powell (R-Arcanum) and Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp) are the primary sponsors of the legislation. They are the two youngest members of the Ohio House and have boldly declared that they are part of the generation to end abortion in Ohio and across America.
In a statement to Cleveland.com, Representative Powell explained, “The 2363 Act is about protecting our fundamental, constitutional right to be born and live….the sanctity of human life, born and preborn, must be preserved in Ohio.”
The proposed law extends explicit protection to the unborn by redefining a person under Ohio law from “an individual” to “a born or unborn human being at any stage of development.”
Like the Texas law, the Ohio measure directs the court to award attorney fees and $10,000 for each unlawful abortion performed to the individual bringing legal action.
According to Ohio’s Department of Health, last year there were more than 20,000 abortions performed in the state. That’s how many lives could be saved in a single year if this measure became law.
The bill is supported by 35 Republican cosponsors and the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio.
In 2019, Ohio passed a heartbeat bill that prohibited abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected. Pro-abortion groups sued immediately, and a federal judge has blocked the law from going into effect.
Lawmakers in Ohio also recently passed regulatory restrictions on abortion clinics resulting in the number of abortion clinics in Ohio dropping from 16 to nine.
The Bible is clear. As human beings, we are made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 states, “so God created man in his own image.” By virtue of being human, God has uniquely set us apart as moral, spiritual, and intellectual beings. Our value is not determined by age, location, ability, or dependency.
Christians must remain vigilant in protecting unborn human life. We are encouraged by Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
So, what can you do today to promote a culture of life?
Ohio residents can write to their State Representatives and ask that they cosponsor the 2363 Act. Ohio residents can also write to their State Senators asking them to introduce similar legislation in the Senate. Search for your Ohio Representative and Senator here.
Residents from other states can write to their House and Senate representatives asking them to protect unborn human life and introduce legislation similar to the Ohio and Texas bills.
Consider supporting a special Focus on the Family ministry to save babies and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion. Option Ultrasound equips pregnancy resource centers across the nation with ultrasound machines to give mothers considering abortion the opportunity to see their child in the womb.
We can all pledge to protect the 2,363 preborn children killed by abortion every day in America and get connected with the great advocacy work at Live Action.
Finally, perhaps one of the most tangible ways we can impact culture to promote life is by offering support to crisis pregnancy centers that help women navigate unplanned pregnancies. Look online to find a crisis pregnancy center near you and get involved in their truly lifesaving work.
Photo from Shutterstock.