A group of Ohio religious leaders criticized lawmakers’ efforts to pass protections for unborn babies Thursday during a pro-abortion protest at a church in downtown Columbus.
The event at Trinity Episcopal Church, coordinated by the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, included Christian and Jewish leaders who oppose a bill to prohibit abortions after unborn babies have a detectable heartbeat, about six weeks of pregnancy.
The state House passed the bill in November, and the Senate is considering it this week. It is expected to pass the Republican-controlled legislature.
The Rev. Terry Williams, a United Church of Christ minister from Chillicothe who spoke at the protest, claimed to stand for women’s rights by opposing the pro-life bill.
“I will not stand here idly and let them strip away the rights of women and others in our state to make the right decisions for them and their families,” Williams said.
The Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus also spoke, saying, “This bill, which does not protect the health of the woman or rape victims, is not pro-life.”
The bill does protect life, though. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable around six weeks of pregnancy, though new research suggests it may begin as early as 18 days after conception. In 2017, 20,893 unborn babies were aborted in Ohio, according to the state Department of Health. Most of those babies would be protected if the legislation goes into effect.
[Editor’s Note: The article was written by Micaiah Bilger and published at LifeNews.com]