There’s no denying that 2016 has been a year from hell for the progressive movement in the United States. Not only was Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was defeated at the hands of right-wing “outsider” Donald Trump, but the Republican party also maintained majority in both the House and Senate. This fact, coupled with the recent gruesome appointments in Trump’s presidential cabinet (not to mention his staunchly anti-abortion vice president pick Mike Pence), has left many women, minorities, and immigrants fearing for their safety in America’s near future.
Unfortunately, that state of Ohio seems to already be reaping the benefits of the Republican takeover. Earlier this week, the Ohio Legislature passed a bill the would ban abortion once the fetal heartbeat could be detected, which typically takes place around six weeks after conception. This six-week time period detailed in the ban is considerably early, as most women aren’t even aware that they’re pregnant by then.
Now that the bill has passed in Ohio’s Legislature, Gov. John Kasich has less than 10 days to veto the measure before it becomes law. According to NPR, the bill does not include exceptions for incest or rape, and would only allow a later abortion if the woman’s life is at risk. While Gov. Kasich certainly looked levelheaded as a Republican candidate against the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, his track record proves him to be unabashedly against abortion.
While the bill was previously struck down in the state as being unconstitutional, the election of Trump seems to have changed the political climate in Ohio and throughout the country. While the Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals by supporters of anti-abortion laws, the new justices that Trump appoints could soon change that dynamic as well.
Not only do most women not learn of their pregnancy until after six weeks, but that timeframe is also well before prenatal tests can be performed to detect certain birth defects. The so-called “Heartbeat Bill” was originally written by Janet Folger Porter, a former conservative talk radio show host who was let go from the program for harboring radical views. On the other hand, Planned Parenthood has come out to forewarn that the bill is "intended to make abortion illegal in the state of Ohio."
While the bill sits on Kasich desk, his decision to veto or not will likely have a major impact on how other states will function under Trump’s reign. The right-wing movement in the swing-state has clearly been empowered by the Republican party’s sweeping victory in this past election. Even if state’s Governor has a change of heart and repeals the strict abortion ban, the battle to strip women of their right to choose will surely rage on in both Ohio and throughout the rest of the United States.