COLUMBUS, Oh — Pro-life leaders are celebrating the advance of Ohio’s Senate Bill 145, a measure that bans a specific method of murder while prescribing the circumstances under which innocent children may continue to be put to death.
The bill passed the Ohio Senate Judiciary committee Tuesday and will be heard on the Senate floor Wednesday. SB 145 explicitly affirms the murder of preborn children through the use of suction curettage or suction aspiration procedures, and allows the act of poisoning an unborn child to death through the use of RU-486 (mifepristone). It does not target abortion or seek to prohibit its practice, but merely prohibits the employment of “clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”
On social media, and in a fundraising email sent to supporters Tuesday, Created Equal National Director Mark Harrington praised the measure. “In Ohio, pigs are treated more humanely than humans. At least they are sedated before they are killed. With dismemberment abortions, thousands of babies are routinely torn apart piece by piece, limb by limb, each year. Ohio is now one step closer to ending this brutal method of murdering babies,” he said.
The email carried the headline “Preborn Children Silently Testify: ‘Don’t Dismember Me'” and included a video of Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings, during which Created Equal interns and staff appeared in matching t-shirts bearing an image of a preborn child and the message “Don’t dismember me.”
“The members of the committee are going to get a clear message, silently, from our staff and our interns,” Harrington said. Strangely, none of the t-shirts purporting to speak on behalf of the preborn urged legislators, “Don’t murder me.”
According to Harrington, the bill is a powerful educational tool. “When people think of partial birth abortion, they’re going to know what that means. You don’t have to explain it to them. They know that the baby is partially born and then killed by abortion. Same with the dismemberment bans. You don’t have to explain what dismemberment is to people… so it has instant educational value,” he said. “It’s similar to the heartbeat bills. We understand with a heartbeat, you have life. With dismemberment, you have killing… so that’s the greatest value of this bill is that it just educates people in a moment.”
Ohio abolitionist Dustin Paulson had a different perspective.
“I believe the message it conveys is that murder is acceptable if you do it according to the methods prescribed by the pro-life movement,” Paulson said. “While the bill repeatedly refers to the victim as an unborn human child, the bill does not treat them as such, and so neither will society.”
He also pointed out that the bill does not live up to its own name. “It’s not banning the murder of unborn humans by method of dismembering. It still allows for them, so long as the pieces torn from that unborn human are small enough,” he said.
“We (abolitionists) don’t join with Mark Harrington in his celebration,” Paulson added. “This a cruel bill, lacking anything worth celebrating, as it fails to uphold both Scripture and the Constitution, and won’t reduce abortions performed in Ohio.”
According to Paulson, abolitionists in Ohio have been calling for, and only for, the abolition of abortion, as opposed to its continued regulation. The AbolishAbortionOH petition has been circulating for several months as abolitionists seek to stop the murder of children by any method. “But the current culture in Ohio is one of regulation, and not of repentance and abolition. And so, this bill will likely be one more link in an endless chain of injustice wrapped around the life of the unborn,” he said. “It’ll likely pass because it’s the easy thing for these politicians to do. They all applaud the past efforts of abolitionists in the removal of the evil of slavery, but curse us today, ignore us today, ridicule us today. But history won’t, and God surely doesn’t.”
Pro-abortion demonstrators also made an appearance to send a silent message. A group of women dressed as ‘handmaids’ from the dystopian television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” stood in the back of the room, demonstrating their apparent confusion about the difference between being forcibly impregnated via rape and being prohibited from using specific methods to murder their existing children. Based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel by the same name, “The Handmaid’s Tale” portrays a theocratic society in which fertile women are forced to bear children for wealthy or powerful members of society.