Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fighting to Safeguard Life in Ohio

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Representing so many towns across the 77th House District, I knew going into this term what a hard task the legislature was taking on. With a struggling economy that is affecting the lives of those in our region of the state, my focus from the first day forward has been to find jobs for Ohioans and provide business-friendly policies that will bring about economic growth.

In addition to the many bills we have focused on in this area, there are also other issues facing our state that must be addressed. For instance, we must not only be looking out for the health and well-being of our citizens, but also the right to life itself.

That’s why the Ohio House recently considered and passed a number of bills that will help protect the lives of those who are the most vulnerable—the unborn. As a person who believes life begins at conception, it is certainly fitting that we have policies and laws to safeguard them from harm.

The first of the bills we passed is House Bill 79. This bill helps to prevent Obamacare from covering elective abortions in Ohio, allowing our state to opt out of a provision for this coverage in the federal healthcare reform law. But we also have considered even stronger legislation that will save lives by limiting the point at which an abortion can be performed in Ohio.

House Bill 78 prohibits an abortion if the baby is able to live outside of the womb, which is generally around 22 to 24 weeks. This will require a determination to be made on the viability of a child. If a child can live outside of the womb this law says that child’s life cannot be ended.

Similarly, House Bill 125, also known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” prohibits individuals from performing an abortion on pregnant women before testing whether the babies have a detectable heartbeat. When a heartbeat is found, according to standard practice, an abortion will be prohibited by law. This is said to be one of the strongest pieces of pro-life legislation in the country, and I am proud to say I have not only co-sponsored this legislation, but I also worked in support of this legislation as it navigated the Ohio House.

I’ve received a great number of calls and e-mails in support of these bills to help safeguard life. As the House continues to debate legislation like this, I want you to know that I will continue to fight on the side of life. Although the debate can be contentious at times, calling for the respect of all, it is one of the most important issues for Ohio to be addressing.

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