'Heartbeat Bill' in Ohio Creates Rift in Abortion Debate

There is a widening rift within the pro-life base in Ohio over proposed legislation that would make it illegal to conduct abortions when the heartbeat of a fetus is detectable.

In an interview with The Christian Post Michael Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, stated the board “voted 9-2 not to support or oppose this measure.”

He went on to explain that he wanted to see informed consent on the heartbeat bill.

Informed consent would have the mother actually able to see and hear her unborn child’s heartbeat before making the decision about the abortion. However, the current recommendation from the Physicians Resource Council does not endorse the use of Doppler ultrasound for those mothers considering abortion.

Gonidakis also stated the organization, Focus on the Family, said that when a mother saw and heard her unborn child’s heartbeat, 78 percent of those individuals actually “had a change of heart” when considering following through with their planned abortions.

James Bopp Jr., a lawyer in Indiana who is general counsel to National Right to Life did not speak for the organization when he condemned both the personhood and the heartbeat proposals as futile and likely to backfire. But he played down the current rift.

“There has always been a division between those who want to concentrate on what will make a difference, and those who are more interested in making a statement that makes them feel better,” he said, according to The New York Times.

The split widened last month over a so-called personhood amendment in Mississippi that would have barred virtually all abortions by giving legal rights to embryos. It was voted down but is still being pursued in several other states.

Michael Gonidakis told CP how he felt towards the outcome in Mississippi. He said, “It was unfortunate what happened in Mississippi.”

He continued saying that “support of all babies at conception” should be the focus of proceedings going forward.