Anti-Choice Group Calls in Fetus to "Testify" on Ohio Abortion Bill
A fetus has been scheduled as a legislative witness in Ohio on a unique bill that proposes outlawing abortions after the first heartbeat can be medically detected.
Faith2Action, the anti-abortion group that has targeted Ohio to pilot the measure, called the in-utero witness the youngest to ever come before the House Health Committee at nine weeks old.
Faith2Action president Janet Folger Porter said the intent is to show lawmakers who will be affected by the bill, which is opposed by Ohio Right to Life and abortion rights groups as unconstitutional.
An aide to committee Chairman Lynn Wachtmann said a pregnant woman will be brought before the committee and an ultrasound image of her uterus will be projected onto a screen. The heartbeat of the fetus will be visible in color.
As a pro-choice individual, it's tempting to laugh at this. It's an absurd piece of judicial theater, and it's hard to imagine anyone taking it seriously.
The problem is: people do take it seriously. The political climate right now is more hostile to a woman's legal right to choose than it has been in decades. The recent assaults on reproductive health are staggering and include efforts to investigate women who have miscarriages and legalize the murder of abortion providers. A fetus testifying in court? For anti-choicers, it's not absurd at all. It's simply an extension of their campaign to equate women and doctors who terminate pregnancies with murderers. They think a fetus is no different than a grown woman, who can make decisions for herself. That's why they also think a doctor should be allowed to refuse medical care to a women who would die without an abortion. (Never mind that the fetus would also die in that scenario.)
If you still can't believe it, just look at this column by anti-choice National Revieweditor Kathryn Jean Lopez, in which she admits to wanting to reverse the clock on reproductive health: "I do want to turn back the clock — to a time when we valued love and marriage and didn’t expect, support, and even encourage promiscuity." The problem is that rolling back women's rights won't lead to a greater respect for love or marriage. It will lead to dangerous back-alley abortions and the propagation of misogynistic views of women. A world in which a woman is considered no more autonomous than a fetus is no world I want to live in.