- An Ohio lawmaker proposed a bill that would ban abortions at the moment of conception.
- Republican Rep. Gary Click proposed the bill — dubbed the “Personhood Act” — on Monday.
- On Tuesday, an Ohio man confessed raping a 10-year-old girl, drawing national attention.
An Ohio lawmaker and Baptist pastor has proposed a state-wide ban on abortions that would start at the moment of conception.
Republican Rep. Gary Click and seven co-sponsors introduced a bill on Monday dubbed “The Personhood Act,” according to a draft of the legislation.
“The state of Ohio shall recognize the personhood, and protect the constitutional rights, of all unborn human individuals from the moment of conception. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted in any manner that would endanger the life of a mother,” the text of the legislation read.
After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling — which protected the constitutional right to an abortion — an Ohio law took effect that banned abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
In a Thursday statement, Click said “conception is the only precise and defining event that distinguishes the introduction of a unique human being in possession of their own unique individuality as defined in their DNA.”
“Any government that does not secure the right to life of each individual within its jurisdiction has fractured the foundation upon which it stands,” he said.
Click told Ohio’s Statehouse News Bureau on Monday that the bill does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
On Tuesday, an Ohio man was arrested after confessing to raping a 10-year-old girl on at least two occasions, according to Columbus police. The girl became pregnant and was ultimately forced to travel out of state for an abortion, an Indiana doctor who helped the girl told the Indianapolis Star.
The case led to widespread attention from media and politicians — including the White House.
A spokesperson for Click told Insider that the case is “heartbreaking but unrelated” to the proposed legislation, and the language was drafted before the story was made public. They added that Click has made “no conclusive judgments” on the incident.
Majority Floor Leader Rep. Bill Seitz, a Republican, told Insider that while he understands the “sentiments” behind the proposed “Personhood Act,” he can’t vote for it “in its current form.”
“Legislation is not a mere expression of altruistic intent, but must be clear in what it prescribes and I fear this very short bill raises a good many more questions than it resolves,” he said.
Insider reached out to other members of Ohio’s state majority leadership to see if they would back the proposed legislation, but they did not immediately respond.
The state’s Republican Party also did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.