Today, the House Health and Aging committee held its first meeting of the new General Assembly, and Chairman Lynn Wachtmann wasted no time setting the agenda for the panel’s work.
According to Gongwer, Wachtmann promised a return of Heartbeat legislation, a measure to outlaw nearly all abortions by banning them after a fetal heartbeat is detected (as early as six weeks and before many women even learn they are pregnant):
“There’s still a lot of discussions…about how that’s going to roll-out, but I would ,at some point in the next two years, think that will be a definite issue before this committee,” Rep. Wachtmann said.
Last year the proposal passed the House but stalled in the Senate thanks to concerns of then-President Tom Niehaus. Unfortunately for Ohio women, Niehaus has retired and was replaced by one of the advocates of the bill. Honestly, the only thing that might stop it is a veto by John Kasich, struggling to repair his lackluster image among moderates and women.
We also learned today that a proposal to de-fund Planned Parenthood is likely to be inserted into the state budget, set for introduction next Monday. If the language does not appear in Governor Kasich’s executive proposal, look for it in the House amendments, expected in late March.