Latest Tactic in Heartbeat Bill Fight Could Block It for Good in Lame Duck Session
Earlier this week, backers of what's known as the heartbeat abortion bill threatened to use a unusual tactic known as a discharge petition to bring the bill for a vote by the state senate - despite the wishes of it's president. Now the senate president is taking an unusual step of his own to make sure the bill does not come up for a vote by his members during the lame duck session.
Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus has used an unusual procedure to keep the heartbeat abortion bill tied up in a senate committee for the next 30 days so it can’t come onto the floor for a vote.
"That means the earliest that any discharge petition can be issued is December 29th. I don’t expect to be here on December 29th," says Niehaus.
Niehaus thinks the bill, which would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is heard, is unconstitutional. And he says if it were scrutinized by the US Supreme Court, especially with new members yet to be appointed by President Obama, the result could be an erosion of existing anti abortion laws on the books. Heartbeat bill backer Janet Folger Porter says there was no way that could happen the way the bill was written. She thinks the fight is personal.
"If you don’t like something I may have done, all I ask is don’t take it out on babies. I just would have thought the outgoing president of the senate is bigger than that," says Folger Porter.
Folger Porter says she’ll fight to pass it until the end of this year….and if she’s not successful, she will fight to make it a top priority next year.