Abortion Constitutionality Legislation

Ohio Heartbeat Bill

Ohio newspapers are reporting on a rally planned for today in support of Ohio H.B. 125 , or as it has become known in the press, the “Ohio Heartbeat Bill.” Absent a medical emergency the bill would generally requires a pre-abortion examination to determine if a fetal heartbeat can be detected and prohibit the performance of an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. There are not exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or fetal anomaly.

Currently a fetal heartbeat can be detected at approximately 5.5 to 6.5 weeks gestation. The fiscal note accompanying the bill reports that 42.4 % of all abortions performed in Ohio (totally almost 12,000 abortions) in 2009 occurred after 8 weeks gestation.

If enacted, the law would present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Teresa Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches bioethics, property law, and constitutional law. A nationally prominent speaker and scholar, she is active in attempts to rebuild the Culture of Life and protect the institutions of marriage and family. She often represents groups of state legislators, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in appellate case related to medical-legal matters. She represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota before the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae regarding the effectiveness of those states’ parental involvement laws. She has served as special attorney general for Oklahoma and Kansas related to legislation designed to protect the well-being of minors and unborn children. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the states.