UPDATE: When I originally wrote this diary, I was under the impression that there were nine, and only nine, senators holding up this bill. It has since been brought to my attention that the nine listed below are the senators who are most likely to influence the decision to bring the bill to a floor vote. It’s important that all Ohio senators hear from their constituents on this life and death issue. You can find your senator here.
The year was 1985. I was working as a store manager at a shopping mall and after years as a party girl, had begun to take my Christian faith seriously. Whenever I did paperwork in the back room, I would listen to 640 WHLO out of Akron, which at that time was a Christian station. As 20-year-old young woman who had been raised in an agnostic, union-Democrat home, I had never—not even once—considered the issue of abortion in a serious way. Of course, like most girls my age, I had been taught in public school health class that abortion was a way to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy, and as such, it carried with it approximately the same moral implications of birth control pills. That is, approximately no moral implications.
That all changed for me when I was confronted with the horrific truth that abortion snuffs out a human life. That an actual baby, created in the image of God, dies in the process. I first heard that message from Dr. Jack Willke, who in 1985 had (if I’m recalling correctly) a weekly radio program that was syndicated and broadcast on WHLO. Dr. Willke didn’t have a powerful speaking voice or impressive rhetorical skills, but his message could not be clearer: abortion stopped a beating heart and killed a human being. Dr. Willke carefully explained both the biblical and the scientific reasons that abortion is a crime against humanity. I was instantly transformed from being agnostic on the abortion issue to being pro-life. Instantly.
“I’m now 87-years-old and thought I would never live to see the end of abortion. I have renewed hope. After 40 years in the wilderness, we are a senate vote away from the Promised Land of protecting babies whose heartbeat can be heard—more than a school bus full of children each day, tens of thousands of Ohio babies each year. Only one thing stands in the way of the most pro-life bill in America: those who call themselves “pro-life!”
The Heartbeat Bill passed the Ohio House last June. Since then, it has been stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Republican senators, who ran on pro-life platforms are now refusing to bring the bill to a vote.
Unfortunately, Ohio Right to Life, a de facto wing of the GOP establishment, has been complicit in blocking this bill (see my previous diary on this topic), preferring to regulate abortion, saying that the bill would not hold up to a Supreme Court challenge and that there would be a danger of reaffirming Roe v. Wade.
Dr. Willke, an Ohio Right to Life Board member disagrees:
“While I used to believe there was a danger of reaffirming Roe v. Wade by passing such a protective bill, after 38 years of abortion on demand, I no longer believe that would be the result. Whether Roe is affirmed or not, the results are the same: Unborn babies are killed for any reason virtually any time until their birth. We must not wait any longer to protect babies in our state.”
The Heartbeat Bill has widespread support both in Ohio and across the nation. The list of supporters includes Congressmen Jim Jordan and Steve Chabot, State Treasurer (and Senate candidate) Josh Mandel, Dr. James Dobson, Janet Folger, Ken Blackwell, Frank Pavone, Rep. Newt Gingrich, Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Louis Gohmert, Rep. Steve King, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Jay Sekulow, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Grover Norquist….on and on. The bill’s supporters say it is the most supported bill in America.
The Ohio Senate now has the opportunity to pass historic legislation to make Ohio the state that pushes the first domino that topples the 40 years of reign of terror upon unborn babies in the United States.
The current makeup of the Ohio Senate is 21-12 in favor of the Republicans.
Only 17 votes are needed to pass the most consequential, monumental law related to human life since Roe v. Wade. A handful of pro-life Republicans are holding up the legislation.
Dr. Willke reminds them:
” Because they told us they would end abortion, we sacrificially wrote checks, tirelessly stuffed envelopes, made calls, knocked on doors, distributed ballot cards, and voted these legislators into office. We didn’t elect them to regulate abortion, but to end it. Ohio Senate Republicans can no longer call themselves “pro- life” while refusing to pass the fully protective Heartbeat Bill!”
Dr. Willke poignantly adds:
“At 87, I may not have long to live, but unborn babies with beating hearts have even less time. While the Republican Senate delays bringing this to a vote, babies die. Talk is cheap and abortion regulation is woefully inadequate.”
There is also a move by some in the senate to completely neuter the bill by changing it to a mere informed consent law. This would completely cut the “heart” out of the Heartbeat Bill.
Republican senators are blocking the bill (or trying to neuter it), while claiming to be pro-life, and need to be called, emailed and held to account right now. As Dr. Willke said, babies are dying while these senators are strutting around crowing about what a great job they’ve done of “regulating” abortion.
Now is the time for political courage.
Senate Pres. Tom Niehaus……614-466-8082 [email protected]
Pres. pro tempore Keith Faber……..614-466-7584 [email protected]
Whip Shannon Jones..614-466-9737 [email protected]
Floor Leader Tom Patton……..614-466-8056 [email protected]
Scott Oelslager…614-466-0626 [email protected]
Peggy Lehner…..614-466-4538 [email protected]
Dave Burke……..614-466-8049 [email protected]
Troy Balderson…614-466-8076 [email protected]
Kris Jordan……..614-466-8086 [email protected]