“A new president, new justice appointees changed the dynamic"
December 7, 2016 8:46 AM   Subscribe

House Bill 493, a so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill, has cleared Ohio's House and Senate.

Nominally a revision of child abuse and neglect reporting laws, the bill also contains a provision banning abortion as early as eight weeks after conception [paywalled, but the important bits are in the abstract], when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Approved by the state Senate on Tuesday, the House voted 56-39 to send the bill to Governor Kasich only two hours later. The inclusion of an unrelated $100,000 appropriation makes the bill eligible for Ohio's line-item veto.

Similar legislation in Arkansas and North Dakota has been found unconstitutional, but the Ohio bill was introduced with the explicit hope that the incoming administration will shift the Supreme Court.
posted by pullayup (102 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
A discussion of Kasich's stance on abortion from when he was the "sane" republican choice.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:49 AM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


For those of us who want to do something:

Protest the Heartbeat Bill (facebook link):
ACTION:
Flood Governor John Kasich's office with calls urging him to nix the Heartbeat Bill. Call once per hour, every hour:
- If your last name begins with A-M, call in the first half of each hour
- If your last name begins with N-Z, call in the second half of each hour

Phone Number: (614) 466-3555

Invite all of your friends - we need to overwhelm the phone lines and show overwhelming popular sentiment against the bill.

SCRIPT: I am concerned about the passage of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill." This bill threatens the rights and safety of Ohio women, was passed secretively and unconstitutionally, and violates a woman's right to choose. I implore Governor Kasich to use his line item veto against the bill.
posted by erratic meatsack at 8:53 AM on December 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


Should people from outside Ohio call as well?
posted by pxe2000 at 8:54 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't have any words for this, just an unending scream.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:56 AM on December 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think out of state calls couldn't hurt since the law is unconstitutional.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:57 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nominally a revision of child abuse and neglect reporting laws

Look, I think Kasich will veto this, but damn, slipping this onto a child abuse and neglect reporting law bill is the definition of "what the fuck are you doing."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:57 AM on December 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


Also correcting that it would ban abortions at around six to seven weeks, not eight. This is important because the majority of abortions do take place before the eighth or ninth week, but not before the sixth.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:58 AM on December 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


sadly, they know exactly what the fuck they are doing
posted by murphy slaw at 8:58 AM on December 7, 2016 [38 favorites]


As an Ohioan, THIS INFURIATES ME.

As an American, this makes me incredibly nervous for the state of Roe v. Wade because I'm pretty darned sure the legislature voted this in with the explicit expectation of someone bringing a lawsuit which would then go to the Supreme Court...which I can't even.
posted by cooker girl at 8:59 AM on December 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


I've left several messages at Kasich's office. I'm so angry, I don't really know what to do. I just posted about the probable closure of one of two abortion providers in Columbus. They're attempting to close the only abortion provider in Dayton. And now, limiting abortion to the first 6 weeks of pregnancy?

I don't think that Kasich will veto this. The man has restricted and restricted and restricted choice in Ohio already, I don't see while he'd stop now. Particularly because I think that this is going to be the rallying law around which the pro-life Right pin their hopes of overturning Roe V. Wade with a Supreme Court filled out by our president-elect. I'm so angry.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:00 AM on December 7, 2016 [34 favorites]


The thing that drives me up the wall about this is that you can literally put a single heart cell into a petri dish and it will keep beating, and if you put another one next to it they sync up. It's all they do. It sounds very wooby because we have poeticized the heart as the seat of emotion instead of the liver or the gut or whatever, but it's just a cell doing what it evolved to do. The heart is one of the first things to get in gear

I'm imagining the Ancient Rome version of this with the Quivering Liver Bill instead.
posted by Scattercat at 9:00 AM on December 7, 2016 [110 favorites]


YES call if you're from another state. Let them know the nation is watching.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:12 AM on December 7, 2016


John Kasich, (R)epublic of Gilead.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:15 AM on December 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


Also correcting that it would ban abortions at around six to seven weeks, not eight. This is important because the majority of abortions do take place before the eighth or ninth week, but not before the sixth.

I did a little bit of digging on this and couldn't find much substantiation of the six and seven week dates, though they are widely reported in the media. So, I went with a date when the presence of a heartbeat can be empirically established by transvaginal ultrasound. Hopefully (though I am not very hopeful these days) this meets the standard of "available medical evidence".

The text of the bill is:
Sec. 2919.195. (A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, no person shall knowingly and purposefully perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying and whose fetal heartbeat has been detected in accordance with division (A) of section 2919.192 of the Revised Code. Whoever violates this division is guilty of performing or inducing an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, a felony of the fifth degree. [...]
Sec. 2919.192 states:
The director of health may adopt rules that specify information regarding the statistical probability of bringing an unborn human individual possessing a detectable heartbeat to term based on the gestational age of the unborn human individual. The rules shall be based on available medical evidence and shall be adopted in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code.
Does anyone know if the six-week date for a "detectable heartbeat" has been officially adopted?
posted by pullayup at 9:16 AM on December 7, 2016



Also correcting that it would ban abortions at around six to seven weeks, not eight. This is important because the majority of abortions do take place before the eighth or ninth week, but not before the sixth.

Yes, it's a very big difference. And I have noticed that not everybody knows how pregnancy weeks are counted. They are counted from the last known period a woman had. So, once you notice you're late, you're already 4 or maybe 5 weeks pregnant. 4 weeks pregnant is only (about) 2 weeks after ovulation. So, you notice you're a week late, do a pregnancy test, and that only leaves you one week to arrange (and find the money for) an abortion. And that is only if you're so much on top of your period, and if you're periods are so regular that you would immediately notice being one week late.
posted by blub at 9:24 AM on December 7, 2016 [51 favorites]


I did a little bit of digging on this and couldn't find much substantiation of the six and seven week dates, though they are widely reported in the media. So, I went with a date when the presence of a heartbeat can be empirically established by transvaginal ultrasound. Hopefully (though I am not very hopeful these days) this meets the standard of "available medical evidence".

This means that if you really can't hear the heartbeat at eight weeks, there's some concern about potential miscarriage. The heartbeat can show up as early as six weeks, and usually by the seven week range. As usual with gestational things, there's some range to when things can happen and the dates can be inexact.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:25 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just called and left a message. I will continue calling.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey ya'll Handmaid's Tale is just $3 on Kindle!
posted by odinsdream at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


The heartbeat can show up as early as six weeks, and usually by the seven week range. As usual with gestational things, there's some range to when things can happen and the dates can be inexact.

Which is one of many reasons why "detectable" heartbeat is an irrational basis for an abortion law.

I'm hopeful about the chances of this in front of the Supreme Court, because 1) Scalia was already going to uphold this, so the Republicans would need to switch at least one other justice before that changed, even if Donald Trump gets a radical activist on the Court on this issue and 2) I think in his heart of hearts John Roberts loves stare decisis more than he hates women, but we shouldn't have to be on that to keep a right that's been there for over 40 years.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:29 AM on December 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


and here's some unsurprising icing on the shit cake: The Man Behind Ohio’s ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban Was Accused Of Domestic Violence In 2011

“She got a little upset,” Jordan said in a conversation recorded by a dashboard camera on the police cruiser. “Girls do that.”

Jordan told deputies that he works at the statehouse, “until she gets me thrown out of office over (expletive) not cleaning the upstairs ... and then me pushing some towels over and some other stuff over.”

“I threw some things on the ground, but I didn’t hit her or anything,” he added. “So she’s all worked up about who knows.”

posted by burgerrr at 9:31 AM on December 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Which is one of many reasons why "detectable" heartbeat is an irrational basis for an abortion law.

Also, the technology that allows for a detectable heartbeat is getting better all the time - just ask anyone who has had their second or third kid recently. So it's not like this is a fixed date on average. Obviously, it can't move up past the 5-6 week mark, because there has to be a heart in place, but the detection is going to begin to happen much faster.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


i'm so fucking tired.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:34 AM on December 7, 2016 [59 favorites]


for fuck's sake. i am a white dude and i think the best thing we could do for america right now is ban white men from holding office.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:36 AM on December 7, 2016 [56 favorites]


I think that some people are assuming that doctors must look for a heartbeat using a transvaginal ultrasound in early pregnancies, while others are assuming (based perhaps on 2919.191.C which states "The rules shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.") that only a transabdominal ultrasound will be used. 8 weeks is still ridiculously early - something like 30% of American women have irregular periods. Then they must schedule an appointment at the few clinics that will perform a voluntary ultrasound, muster up the funds, and wait there's more - Ohio has a 24 hr waiting period.

Obviously, it can't move up past the 5-6 week mark, because there has to be a heart in place,

They'll just switch to saying that brains are the best indicator of life, thus you can't have an abortion once the neural tube forms at 4 weeks.

Seriously, Reproductive Justice groups have been warning about these slippery-slope laws for the past decade. Surely there's no harm in passing a bill merely requiring a doctor to look for and note a heartbeat on their patients chart! (which Ohio did in 2013).
posted by muddgirl at 9:37 AM on December 7, 2016 [25 favorites]


I think in his heart of hearts John Roberts loves stare decisis more than he hates women

John Roberts is a conservative Catholic and his wife is deeply involved in the pro-life movement. So good luck with that.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:38 AM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Assume the bill gets passed. Then, challenged, it goes to Supreme Court. If fails there. In l months from now, Trump gets one or more new members on the Court. Ohio reintroduces this or a similar bill. What then?
posted by Postroad at 9:43 AM on December 7, 2016


Then, challenged, it goes to Supreme Court.

I mean, that in itself takes several years. Very likely that there'd be a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of this until that point. But then the make-up of SCOTUS several years down the line would be important.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:45 AM on December 7, 2016


is ban white men from holding office.

Holding office, holding forth, and holding guns. For starters.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:47 AM on December 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


for fuck's sake. i am a white dude and i think the best thing we could do for america right now is ban white men from holding office.

I don't get it. White power hungry males are so terrified about being fucked by women and minorities if their hegemony gets dismantled but they keep doing things that make women and minorities want to dismantle their hegemony.
posted by Talez at 9:50 AM on December 7, 2016 [31 favorites]


SCOTUS stuck down parts of the Texas law this year in a 5-3 decision, with only 8 justices.

Roberts, Thomas, and Alito were the dissenters. I assume Trump's pick would join them.

Ginsburg, Sotomayer, and Kagan aren't going to ok this thing in Ohio. I would assume Breyer, who wrote the opinion in the Texas decision, also wouldn't. That leaves Kennedy, who I also doubt would be ok with this law.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:50 AM on December 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


i swear to god the republican party platform for the next four years is gonna be "pull all the copper pipes outta the walls before burning the goddamn house down"
posted by murphy slaw at 9:54 AM on December 7, 2016 [55 favorites]


How much longer does our beloved Ginsburg have in this world, though?
posted by agregoli at 9:54 AM on December 7, 2016


I hope Ruth Bader Ginsberg lives another 8 years.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:55 AM on December 7, 2016 [36 favorites]


White power hungry males are so terrified about being fucked by women and minorities if their hegemony gets dismantled but they keep doing things that make women and minorities want to dismantle their hegemony.

This is because the majority of us white males perceive having to treat those outside of our tiny class with something approaching basic decency as equivalent to "being fucked". We're pathetic whiny babies who see having to share as so deeply unfair that we're just going to smash everything up because THEN YOU'LL ALL BE SORRY YOU WERE SO MEAN!!!!
posted by howfar at 10:03 AM on December 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Kasich will happily sign this. As far as I know, there hasn't been an anti-abortion bill that's gotten to his desk that he hasn't signed.

I'm not going to be surprised if we see similar bills pop up in Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri soon.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:03 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Kasich will happily sign this.

It's blatantly unconstitutional.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2016


Well, duh. We all hope she lives forever. That is not reality.
posted by agregoli at 10:06 AM on December 7, 2016


I'll go so far as to predict we see Michigan as the next state to pass a similar bill. This is the kind of massively unpopular thing the Michigan legislature loves to ram through during the lame-duck session.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:07 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Take a look at his record, and what anti-abortion activists are saying about this bill. It's only unconstitutional as long as Roe v. Wade is in the constitution, and this might be the earliest test case to overturn Roe v. Wade. Literally nothing he has done has indicated he supports the maintenance of Roe v. Wade. The reason that pragmatic anti-abortion legislators have been so reluctant to push for restrictions like this is because they don't want to have the option of overturning Roe v. Wade shut down. With a court filled out by Trump appointees, that's much less likely.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:07 AM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's so shitty to see the rights of women up for debate. I'm sick of this garbage.
posted by agregoli at 10:09 AM on December 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Could vocal theologians make a difference in convincing these blockheads they're blockheads, at all? I know that bible is more than equivocal on abortion. (Man, probably not, since they're blockheads.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:18 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


And once again, we're down to hoping and praying (to the deity of our choice) that the 4 liberal Supreme Court justices have the physical and mental strength to continue for another four (or eight) years, and that Justice Kennedy wakes up on the right side of the bed each morning.

Because otherwise, basic human rights are open to interpretation by the most racist, sexist, misogynistic assholes who can get elected in Ohio or Texas or Mississippi.

This is no way to run a country.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


I hope Ruth Bader Ginsberg lives another 8 years.

Assuming Trump is not re-elected, she only needs to live about 3 years and 3 months more, since Republicans don't believe that presidents in their last term of office should get to appoint new justices.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Hahahahahaha!
posted by Mitheral at 10:29 AM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's blatantly unconstitutional

Kasich won't care about this - "babies will be saved" for as long as it takes for the whole process of getting to the Supreme Court, and if it gets struck down he'll just shrug and go, "Well, it was the duly elected legislature of Ohio who made the law, I don't see the purpose of vetoing things except in dire circumstances."
posted by soundguy99 at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope Ruth Bader Ginsberg lives another 8 years.

You should be hoping they all do.
posted by dmd at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


and that Justice Kennedy wakes up on the right side of the bed each morning.

You mean the left side.
posted by Melismata at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


cotton dress sock: "Could vocal theologians make a difference in convincing these blockheads they're blockheads, at all? I know that bible is more than equivocal on abortion. (Man, probably not, since they're blockheads.)"

Unfortunately Kasich is a Catholic so the only theologians who matter to him are mostly on his side. Even if he secretly agreed with the likes of Tim Kaine he knows what side his theological bread is buttered on.
posted by charred husk at 10:33 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


According to the Mayo Clinic site:

Just four weeks after conception, the neural tube along your baby's back is closing and your baby's heart is pumping blood.

If you listen close enough, it's four weeks, not eight weeks.

(The site is a little confusing. They mention starting counting from your last period rather than the time of conception, so it shows the number as both 4 weeks (after conception) and 6 weeks (after the last period, because that is the last time you can be certain of not being pregnant).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:34 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, duh. We all hope she lives forever. That is not reality.

Sure, but how about we jump off that bridge when we come to it?
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:41 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I heard my baby's heartbeat at six weeks. (which is six weeks after the date of the first day of the last menstrual cycle, which means 4 weeks after conception, which means 2 weeks after you can reliably know for sure that you are pregnant (note, some tests can work earlier, but the rate of false negatives earlier is high enough that I wouldn't trust a negative pregnancy test any earlier than that).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:41 AM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


This snark is too painful for me today.
posted by agregoli at 10:44 AM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Ohio is going to see an uptick in routine menstrual extraction.
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 AM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Paul Waldman: Roe v. Wade may be doomed. Dark days are ahead for reproductive rights. (emphasis in original)
[T]he conservatives on the Court, joined by their new colleagues (if Trump gets one more appointment) could effectively overturn Roe without actually overturning Roe. They could claim that Roe still stands while gutting the standard set out in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which said that states can’t place an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose. They could say that “heartbeat” bans like Ohio’s are fine, as are TRAP laws that make it impossible to open an abortion clinic, as are lengthy waiting periods or requirements that doctors lie to their patients and tell them that if they have an abortion they’ll go mad and die from cancer. With five anti-abortion votes, they could create the functional equivalent of a world without Roe, where abortion is all but illegal in states controlled by Republicans but legal in states controlled by Democrats.

Here’s the last part of the puzzle, which leads to the possibility of an even more frightening scenario. Now that Republicans control Congress and the White House, they aren’t going to be waiting around: they’re likely to pass national laws on abortion, things like bans after 20 weeks, national waiting periods, and other laws meant to make abortion as difficult and cumbersome as possible for women, particularly poor women, to obtain.

When you add in the Republican Congress, you could envision a scenario even worse than Roe being overturned. Here’s how it would work:
  1. With another retirement, the Supreme Court reaches five anti-choice votes.
  2. Instead of overturning Roe v. Wade, they gut the undue burden standard in Casey.
  3. Congress then passes a series of incredibly restrictive abortion laws, on things like clinic standards, waiting periods, and a version of Ohio’s “heartbeat” bill, or at least one outlawing abortion after some small period of time, perhaps not the 20 weeks that’s now discussed but 15 or 10.
This is worse because if Roe were simply overturned, each state could make its own rules, which means abortion would still be legal and available in states controlled by Democrats. But under this scenario, every state would live under the rules set by Republicans in Congress, who are almost unanimous in their desire to see abortion rights disappear completely.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:18 AM on December 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's blatantly unconstitutional.

It doesn't matter. The law is meaningless to Republicans as anything other than a weapon.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 AM on December 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


Man, we are already in dark days. We are moving rapidly towards sunless wastelands of horror is what we are.
posted by rtha at 11:25 AM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


"It's blatantly unconstitutional."

sez who?
the Supreme Court decides that
posted by Postroad at 11:33 AM on December 7, 2016


For prenatal diagnosis [of basically anything], most amniocenteses are performed between 14 and 20 weeks gestation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:34 AM on December 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


sez who?

Maybe you didn't mean this cavalierly, but this is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which is over 40 years old.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just a reminder that the very second comment in this thread provides a phone number to Kasich's office and a short script to follow in case you're too infuriated to think up words. It takes only a minute to call.
posted by vverse23 at 11:37 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe you didn't mean this cavalierly, but this is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which is over 40 years old.

Plessy was 58 before it (finally) went down to Brown. Don't underestimate the ability for ideology to trump longevity in the stare decisis debate.
posted by Talez at 11:39 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


The PDF of the bill at the link in the FPP wasn't loading for me for some reason, but here's the text of the forced birth amendment. In addition to banning abortion after the doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat (commonly 6 weeks, which is really only about 4 weeks after ovulation/sex, just 14 days after the earliest day an over the counter pregnancy test is likely to be accurate, and before 'typical' symptoms like morning sickness kick in), it defines "conception" as fertilization. Not implantation or a positive pregnancy test - fertilization. That means any birth control that they believe impedes implantation could be deemed an abortifacient in Ohio. There are also a lot of information collection and data storage requirements - this is step one of a scarlet letter agenda -- the Arizona AG is currently trying to get access to the names of everyone who had an abortion at a specific clinic in AZ (arguing that he's investigating "fraud" by the clinic and the patients are "consumers" under the fraud investigation not "patients" under HIPAA).


It's blatantly unconstitutional.

Until it isn't anymore.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:40 AM on December 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Is there a technological solution to get around this restriction? could medical devices be designed either without the ability to pick up heartbeats or with the capacity to toggle that ability on or off?

Could care providers who wanted to preserve patients ability to access abortions change their procedures in such a way as to comply with the letter of this law without foreclosing on patients' options?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:41 AM on December 7, 2016


1. WTF.

2. Do we have a working system of laws any more? Apparently our system of deciding constitutional questions doesn't apply. Shouldn't the first court to hear a case say that this is unconstitutional on face, then the next court not ever pick up the appeal?

3. Can liberal states start ignoring decided constitutional questions too? "The 2A says you have the right to bear arms, but we're going to limit that to just Tuesdays, and arms means only katanas. Gun sales are now banned." Sure that wouldn't be constitutional, but fuck em, neither is this bill. Republicans have chosen to say: "Decided constitutional questions are only decided until we force through laws that aren't fought hard enough".
posted by cschneid at 11:42 AM on December 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Is there a technological solution to get around this restriction?

Well, there is the exception for health of the pregnant person, which allows termination of the pregnancy if there is "serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" which is defined as:
any medically diagnosed condition that so complicates the pregnancy of the woman as to directly or indirectly cause the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function . A medically diagnosed condition that constitutes a "serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" includes pre-eclampsia, inevitable abortion, and premature rupture of the membranes, may include, but is not limited to, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and does not include a condition related to the woman's mental health.
So, if there was a doctor willing to risk being charged with a felony, they could assert that vaginal birth itself cases a "serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" (see, e.g., the rate of women who have incontinence after giving birth). However, the doctor could not take into account factors like: the pregnant person's survival relies on taking psychiatric medications that carry a risk of birth defects or the pregnant person has attempted or will attempt suicide as a result of this pregnancy (not just "doesn't want to be pregnant and would rather kill themselves" but also "pregnancy fucks with your hormones and can really fuck you up if you already have a mental illness that is exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations."). Any workaround would rely on abortion providers taking on even more risk that they already do, exposing themselves to even more violence, privacy intrusions by the state, and civil/AG lawsuits.

Abortion has been around for as long as people have been getting pregnant. Abortion will not go away any time soon. But safe abortion will. This bill, if signed, is going to cause a lot of preventable suffering and death.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:59 AM on December 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


"Less than 5% of all natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage after detection of fetal cardiac activity; over 90% of in vitro pregnancies survive the first trimester if cardiac activity is detected in the gestational sac... Fetal heartbeat, therefore, has become a key medical predictor that an unborn human individual will reach live birth... The state of Ohio has legitimate interests from the outset of pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of an unborn human individual who may be born."

"No person shall knowingly and purposefully perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying and whose fetal hearbeat has been detected" unless it is "to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman."
posted by ChuraChura at 12:00 PM on December 7, 2016


god loves blastocysts so much that he wants to make sure they all can grow up to live in crushing poverty, raised by single parents who resent them, with no social support from the government
posted by murphy slaw at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2016 [44 favorites]


god loves blastocysts so much that he wants to make sure they all can grow up to live in crushing poverty, raised by single parents who resent them, with no social support from the government

They should have chosen better parents, amirite?
posted by Talez at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Assuming Trump is not re-elected, she only needs to live about 3 years and 3 months more, since Republicans don't believe that presidents in their last term of office should get to appoint new justices.

This is a very good joke.


If it came down to any conversation about consistency of principle here, this is how it would go in actuality:

D: Well, given the precedent set by Republicans four years ago, we can clearly see there should be no Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justices during an election year.
R: But that's not what you said four years ago! Four years ago you hypocrites were *screaming* because we were doing this! Where are your principles? If you didn't think we should do it then, then you shouldn't do it now!
D: But you did it then anyway.
R: So? That's about what *we* could do. We didn't argue that we couldn't do it, you did.
D: But you're making that argument now.
R: No we're not. We're repeating your own argument back to you. It's not like it was *our* argument. We're consistent, unlike you hypocrites. We definitely think we should be able to stop you from appointing justices.
D: Well, I guess we're on the same page, because that's what we're planning to do.
R: No, you don't understand, *We* can do it, because we said we should be able to do it. You *can't* do it, because you said we shouldn't be able to.
D: Look, if we'd had a magic wand to make it unconstitutional or against Senate rules for it to refuse to hold a confirmation vote, we would have done that. For sure. Then everything would have been clear and consistent. But we didn't have that magic wand, and as you clearly established in precedent, the rules we're all playing by are that Senators can dig in their heels and prevent so much as a hearing during an election year if they like.
R: Well, that's certainly what *we* said, but it isn't what you said. Be consistent!
D: So, as long as we're playing by the rules you established -- and we will be, until we get everybody to agree on what the rules should be -- then we're not budging an inch down the road to confirmation. Anything else means one set of rules for you, and another for us.
R: We would never *say* that! We just want you to stick to the rules *you* argued for back then, and we'll stick to the rules *we* argued for. That's principle! Too bad Democrats don't have any! Also, we're changing the rules of the Senate, no filibustering SC noms. Please scream about it so that we can hold you to the principle of letting us filibuster SC noms later. You understand the rules, right?
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:33 PM on December 7, 2016 [18 favorites]




Elected officials in the U.S. seem to have a vested interest in helping women understand that we really are worth less -- certainly less than men, because duh, but less than non-sentient masses of cells, too. There aren't words to pinpoint how much reading and seeing and living and breathing this shit grinds down my days and hours, how dehumanizing it is.

Like OK, governments, not only have aided and abetted in the legal and societal injustices surrounding rape and other forms of violence against us, but you don't want us to have access to any form of birth control, either, and now you're downright frantic to hasten the enshrinement of forced birth into law. You put on a show and act like you're only doing this because women simply aren't capable of making good decisions without being strong-armed into them by the state, but ultimately you're doing it because our bodies are the patriarchy's first factories, and you think we owe you our service and servitude. And you know you can get away with it, because there's no escape hatch we can use to get out of these pesky less-than-human meat-suits. What a goddamn nightmare.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:47 PM on December 7, 2016 [39 favorites]


> Abortion has been around for as long as people have been getting pregnant. Abortion will not go away any time soon. But safe abortion will. This bill, if signed, is going to cause a lot of preventable suffering and death.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:59 AM on December 7 [has favorites −] [!] Other [2/3]: «≡»


Yes.
Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008
Findings
The global abortion rate was stable between 2003 and 2008, with rates of 29 and 28 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years, respectively, following a period of decline from 35 abortions per 1000 women in 1995. The average annual percent change in the rate was nearly 2·4% between 1995 and 2003 and 0·3% between 2003 and 2008. Worldwide, 49% of abortions were unsafe in 2008, compared to 44% in 1995. About one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2008. The abortion rate was lower in subregions where more women live under liberal abortion laws (p<0·05).

Interpretation
The substantial decline in the abortion rate observed earlier has stalled, and the proportion of all abortions that are unsafe has increased. Restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. Measures to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, including investments in family planning services and safe abortion care, are crucial steps toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
(emphases mine)
posted by rtha at 1:06 PM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


The media and pro-choice organizations need to start running photos and stories of women and girls who die from self-inflicted and [effective] back-alley abortions. Women who were victims of that awful doctor (Kermit Grosnall, maybe?) who ran that filthy and illegal clinic.

Run the stories alongside photos and school pictures of smiling girls with their whole future ahead of them. Storyline: "So-and-so died from massive internal injuries after attempting a self-induced abortion. She was unable to drive two states away to get to the nearest women's clinic and due to increasingly desperate personal circumstances, felt she had no choice but to attempt to terminate her pregnancy herself using instructions she found on the internet. As safe and legal options for women become ever more scarce, experts expect we will see an uptick in these scenarios. In fact, they say that evidence has shown that the only way to prevent these grisly and wholly unnecessary deaths is to make comprehensive family planning options reasily available and safe for all women to access." [more photos of smiling girls and women whose lives have been cut short due to effectively illegal abortion].

The antichoice people have been dictating the message for decades now (with their ridiculous billboards of cute babies everywhere) and we've all been buying into it. It's time for a counter-narrative. Here are women who have had abortions and here is why they had them. They look just like women you know and love. Here are women and girls who needed to terminate their pregnancies and why. Here are women and girls who got desperate and tried to terminate their pregnancies and died. Here's what a promising life that was cut short might have looked like had abortion been legal. She could be your daughter. Here's her fifth grade school picture. Here's her graduation photo. This is what lack of access to safe and legal abortion looks like. These are the faces.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:15 PM on December 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


Could vocal theologians make a difference in convincing these blockheads they're blockheads, at all? I know that bible is more than equivocal on abortion. (Man, probably not, since they're blockheads.)

Preaching to the choir, but this ain't about religion as much as controlling women. They'll just find theologians that support their views, who are not in short supply.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:19 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Women who were victims of that awful doctor (Kermit Grosnall, maybe?) who ran that filthy and illegal clinic.

That case was used as the GOP's cover story for passing TRAP laws, so I'm not sure that would be effective.

They don't care about the suffering of pregnant people. Their religion tells them that childbirth is women's punishment for original sin; women's suffering is, in their minds, their god's command. Women who want to not give birth are attempting to skirt god's punishment for their sins (i.e. the sin of being a woman).

The only option is to make sure people who view the suffering of women as god's will are no longer in positions of power over women.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:25 PM on December 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


That case was used as the GOP's cover story for passing TRAP laws, so I'm not sure that would be effective.

The GOP jumped on it for sure. But I don't remember there being any kind of real mainstream pushback at that time. I mean, I think we recognized that here, but given how viscerally awful that whole thing was, of course the GOP would pounce on it. I don't really remember seeing anyone in the mainstream saying - actually, this is exactly what we can expect will happen as we restrict abortion. Because what that clinic was doing was illegal and (iirc), the women going there didn't really have any other options.

I agree that there is a large contingent of people who want to punish women for having sex and nothing will matter to them. But apart from them, I also think there are some people who are more moderate and could be swayed. Not to mention all the people who think of themselves as being "non-political" and don't think they have an opinion. They may not, but right now the only strong narrative they're seeing is the one the anti-choicers are pushing with the baby billboards. The pro-choice movement doesn't have an equally visceral message out there and I think that hurts us. People are moved more by baby pictures than they are by more abstract notions lIke bodily autonomy.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:53 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Could vocal theologians make a difference in convincing these blockheads they're blockheads, at all?

Wikipedia tells me that John Kasich's church is part of the Anglican Church in North America, which is quite a new denomination. ACNA was started in 2009 by Anglican and Episcopal churches that resented their denominations' move towards what they saw as more liberal theology, especially regarding gay marriage and abortion. Kasich's church used to be Episcopal, and that denomination officially disapproves of abortion as "a means of birth control" but opposes any restrictions on a woman's right to choose. (Which, you know, not exactly the strong position a lot of folks here would prefer, but still technically pro-choice.) ACNA, meanwhile, put opposition to any sort of abortion in their constitution.

So not only do the blockheads reject theologians they disagree with, they're willing to break their churches from their organizational foundations to avoid having to listen.
posted by skymt at 2:03 PM on December 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


So not only do the blockheads reject theologians they disagree with, they're willing to break their churches from their organizational foundations to avoid having to listen.


a long and storied tradition in the anglican communion, starting with henry the eighth
posted by murphy slaw at 2:14 PM on December 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is so scary. I am a midwife, and can tell you about heartbeat detection. In general, you can visualize cardiac activity via:

Transvaginal ultrasound: 5-6+ weeks
Transabdominal ultrasound: 6 weeks
Doppler monitor: 10-11+ weeks
There's always some variation depending on the woman's body, etc.

This is definitely not constitutional under Roe, but I have never been more fearful for the protection abortion rights than I am now.
posted by stillmoving at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


You can also email Kasich's office via this NARAL site.

Silver lining: the ACLU is already promising to fight this bill if it gets to that point...
posted by stillmoving at 2:42 PM on December 7, 2016


But if they manage to overturn Roe v. Wade, doesn't the entire Republican coalition fall apart?
posted by ckape at 2:58 PM on December 7, 2016


They will find new evils to rally around.
posted by erratic meatsack at 2:59 PM on December 7, 2016


But if they manage to overturn Roe v. Wade, doesn't the entire Republican coalition fall apart?

They'll go after Griswold next.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:00 PM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


They can still rally to "elect us to prevent the baby killers from reversing the law". It takes a generation or so before that sort of appeal loses its effectiveness.
posted by Mitheral at 5:21 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


They'll go after Griswold next.

And Eisenstadt.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:37 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


All of which is to say there’s real reason to be concerned. Kasich and Ohio legislators have avoided this bill not because they worry about the impact on women. If anything, causing women pain and suffering appears to be a central legislative agenda of Ohio Republicans. They just don’t want to spend money defending an anti-woman bill that the courts will promptly throw out.

But Donald Trump will get an immediate chance to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice and may get a second during his first term. Anti-choice politicians are clearly hoping for a high court majority with little respect for the law, the Constitution or the concept of stare decisis, and who will happily overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortion outright.

“A new president [and] new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward,” Republican state Sen. Keith Faber told the Columbus Dispatch."
posted by ChuraChura at 6:29 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Republican Representative Jim Buchy said he thought passage of the Heartbeat Bill would encourage personal responsibility. “What we have here is really the need to give people the incentive to be more responsible so we reduce unwanted pregnancies and by the way, the vast majority of abortions are performed on women who were not raped.”
posted by ChuraChura at 6:51 PM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mefite Anitanola, may she rest in power, made this unforgettable comment nearly four years ago about what it was like to need, and have to get, an abortion in pre-Roe times.

Anyone who reads that and thinks that is a time we should go back to... I don't know what to say (that is minimally polite, anyway).
posted by rtha at 7:19 PM on December 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


Before it went down the tube Mother Jones published a very good article on pre-Roe v. Wade days. As a millennial I make myself re-read it on the regular because it's so easy to just not realize how utterly horrifying it used to be and what's at stake.

All of this is probably a good reminder for ovary owners with pregnancy potential to look into getting an IUD or other long-term birth control, especially considering the contraception mandate of the ACA is in the crosshairs as well.
It's gonna be a rough ride.
posted by giizhik at 7:48 PM on December 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination

this seems deliberately written to allow for a rhythm method exemption. that is: according to this text, it is completely fine to perform an abortion as long as your specific intent in so doing is to ease a pregnant woman's mental strain, improve her health or provide for her free exercise of constitutional rights. Terminating the pregnancy just has to be a side effect of the procedure, and not the main goal. this is pretty dumb but it is a standard theological argument in other contexts.

but no I am not really dumb enough to think anybody would apply that reasoning consistently. I do think it is very curious wording if that wasn't what they were after.

I am feeling pro-Ilyse Hogue for DNC chair now more than ever. unless anybody knows anything terrible about her? She wasn't in charge in my NARAL days so I know nothing bad, but nothing much in general.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey y'all, I know "people who can bear children" is a clumsy phrase, but many trans men can/do get pregnant and have abortions, so it's more accurate than "women."
posted by AFABulous at 6:55 AM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


But if they manage to overturn Roe v. Wade, doesn't the entire Republican coalition fall apart?

No, because overturning RvW doesn't automatically make abortion illegal, it just makes it possible for abortion to become illegal. So then you have to elect Republicans who will pass anti-abortion laws, and you have to keep electing them so that the Democrats can't overturn those laws. If anything, overturning RvW ramps up the GOP voter turnout because then they'd be in a position to actually do something.

Also: this question assumes that the GOP coalition has a large number of people in it who hate the anti-poor, anti-immigrant, pro-rich policies of the Republicans but really, sincerely, are deeply morally troubled by abortion and vote on that issue alone. I'm not convinced of that at all. I do think there are plenty of people who are sincerely troubled by abortion, but they also tend to like GOP fiscal policies.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:09 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also: this question assumes that the GOP coalition has a large number of people in it who hate the anti-poor, anti-immigrant, pro-rich policies of the Republicans but really, sincerely, are deeply morally troubled by abortion and vote on that issue alone. I'm not convinced of that at all. I do think there are plenty of people who are sincerely troubled by abortion, but they also tend to like GOP fiscal policies.

From what I can tell (admittedly mostly through anecdotes), this is a large portion of the GOP Latino vote. Other Catholic minorities, too. They seriously do vote about abortion first, anything else second.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:21 AM on December 8, 2016


I recently was made aware that unlike other things I'd lump into the bucket of social morality politics, the last 20 years of public opinion polling on abortion are, at best, depressingly stable. I can't find a good breakdown of those numbers right now, but that's Pew polling. Somehow I imagined it'd be more like gay marriage.

I feel so much despair about Ohio right now.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:44 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


democrats, and i include democrat appointed justices, need to learn how to fucking play hardball. it was quite evident as far back as the debt ceiling crises that republicans were willing to destroy our national institutions to get their way. if ginsburg and breyer were tough, they'd have retired TOGETHER in around 2014, letting obama appoint the appropriate 45 year olds to replace them. but instead, dems pretend we are still dealing with a cute opponent who plays by the rules. And so, here we are.
posted by wibari at 9:16 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mefite Anitanola,

oh lord i have missed her thoughtfulness and wisdom so acutely this past year.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




"[Republican Representative Jim] Buchy is a longtime proponent of restricting women’s access to abortion — in 2012, he told Al Jazeera that his ultimate goal is to ban abortion completely in the State of Ohio. Then, the reporter asked him an interesting question: “What do you think makes a woman want to have an abortion?”

He pauses. Then he says, “Well, there’s probably a lot of reas— I’m not a woman.” He laughs. “I’m thinking now if I’m a woman why would I want to get … Some of it has to do with economics. A lot of it has to do with economics. I don’t know. It’s a question I’ve never even thought about.”"
posted by rtha at 11:42 AM on December 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thing that drives me up the wall about this is that you can literally put a single heart cell into a petri dish and it will keep beating, and if you put another one next to it they sync up.

Wait, what? For reals?
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:12 PM on December 11, 2016


>> ... you can literally put a single heart cell into a petri dish and it will keep beating, and if you put another one next to it they sync up.

> Wait, what? For reals?

Not the original poster, but yes, apparently so. (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, even.)

(That video went on to autoplay this one next, which is also somewhat relevant.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:28 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


In a bait and switch of the sort he's excelled at while governor of our state, Kasich vetoed the 6-week ban and signed the 20 week ban - his 18th restriction on abortion - into law. Remember, this is not moderate. This is still unconstitutional.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:45 PM on December 13, 2016 [11 favorites]




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