November 28, 2012 “The chamber doesn’t plan to vote on the so-called “heartbeat bill” before the end of the legislative session next month, Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus said, citing concerns the resulting law might have been found to be unconstitutional,” AP reported; also “Senate President Tom Niehaus said his chamber will not act this year on bills that would ban abortions in Ohio,” said another.
The real prolifers of Ohio wonder how this could have actually happened after hearing from the stalwarts of the prolife community; how incredible everyone worked for the Heartbeat Bill – hours of testimony, rallies and lobbying. Janet Porter of Faith2Action and her supporters worked harder than anyone I’ve ever seen for our unborn. God bless them all for their tenacity and love.
As most of my readers know, I testified for Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill in both the House and Senate committees regarding Post-Abortive women and men. When I first heard about this bill and that Ohio Right to Life was NOT backing it, I went to ORTL website and submitted a note (3/2/11) to then Executive Director Mike Gonidakis:
“I cannot tell you how disappointed and shocked I am in your decision not to back the Heartbeat Bill (HB125). This is absolutely irresponsible. Dr. Bernard Nathanson stopped performing abortions and became a prolife leader because he saw an ultrasound of the unborn child. If you cannot support HB125, then how can you stand for any ultrasound laws in the state of Ohio?”
Mr. Gonidakis responded saying that I was misinformed (?) and he was more concerned about Personhood to eliminate all abortions. Not only did ORTL not back the Heartbeat Bill but they were also NOT going to back the Personhood initiative that was started soon after. Mr. Gonidakis showed his cards – this was personal, not business; you also need to know that other backers of the Heartbeat Bill were also once involved on the board and in administrative offices of ORTL which did not set well with Mr. Gonidakis.
The Dayton Daily News said, ‘Mike Gonidakis, the group’s [ORTL] executive director, said the heartbeat legislation would not survive a court challenge. “Despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill,” Gonidakis said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to protect the lives we can now and that is why we introduced the late-term ban.” Can Mr. Gonidakis not be aware that the majority of abortions occur in the FIRST trimester?
In an article dated as recent as November 8, 2012, “We’re going to keep the process close to the vest,” Mr. Gonidaks said. “We don’t want this to play out in the press. We’re still working on it, trading messages about the language. It’s not final yet.” Mr. Gonidakis would later say, EVEN after arriving at a ‘compromise’ for the bill, “It is the right idea at the wrong time”. So either Mr. Gonidakis has an evil twin or he never had any actual intention of doing one thing for a bill that could save lives.
Had Mike Gonidakis backed the bill initially – which the public wanted and proaborts criticized – the Heartbeat Bill could have passed. However, Mr. Gonidakis would not back the bill that would save many thousands of unborn lives over personal issues and because of his opinion, the bill lays dead as does the lives it could have saved.
It was also known within ‘right to life’ chapters and societies that they have disassociated with Ohio Right to Life because of ORTL’s anti-life stand on recent prolife legislation. Senate President Tom Niehaus actually said out loud, ‘We have been the most pro-life legislature in my memory’ while killing the bill. And that’s prolife? Again, how can Ohio RIGHT TO LIFE and ‘the most prolife legislature’ NOT support and pass the Heartbeat Bill?
Being in prolife ministry, I have spoken for our local 40 Days for Life rallies and our Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. Most in our community knows how I feel about saving as many unborn lives as possible as well as exposing the agendas of ‘prolife’ politicians. Our state Senator, Peggy Lehner (R), happened to be in attendance for one such rally and was not pleased with my opposition of certain individuals that claim to be prolife but are in fact career politicians.
The day before I testified in the Senate committee for the Heartbeat Bill, I received a letter in the mail from Ms. Lehner that was nearly verbatim of what Ohio Right to Life said about the bill…. ‘undergoing significant legal review’ and ‘if struck down it will simply embed Roe v. Wade deeper into law’ AND ‘that many are suggesting it is only the Ohio Senate that stands between life and death’, etc. I brought the letter with me and asked the others if they had received theirs…they said they did not. Ms. Lehner tried to establish her side of the Heartbeat Bill story and to perhaps curtail me from testifying. What I should have done was taken this letter to the press and let them ask her the hard question of why a prolife State Senator would say no to life. Ms. Lehner has been criticized for ORTL’s significant role in her campaigns and ‘leadership’ within the State Senate.
We are technically still in ‘lame duck session’ but the likely survival of the Heartbeat Bill is slim if SO-CALLED prolife legislators are not on board with real life prolife bills on the table. Is there still ‘life’ in the bill? I sure hope so….because 26,000 unborn Ohioans die per year because they are not protected by laws that will not be passed if we do not redefine what PROLIFE means.