An Ohio Republican pushing a near-total abortion ban said pregnancies caused by rape are an “opportunity” for victims, The Washington Post reports.
State Rep. Jean Schmidt was pressed during a session on Wednesday about whether her bill would force a hypothetical 13-year-old girl to have her rapist’s baby.
“It is a shame that it happens, but there’s an opportunity for that woman, no matter how young or old she is, to make a determination about what she’s going to do to help that life be a productive human being,” Schmidt replied.
“Rape is a difficult issue, and it emotionally scars the individual … for the rest of their life, just as child abuse does,” Schmidt said. “But if a baby is created, it is a human life, and, whether that mother ends that pregnancy or not, the scars will not go away — period.”
Democrat Richard Brown pushed back on Schmidt’s response.
“I think this girl has rights, every bit as much as this zygote has rights under your bill,” he said. “This girl has rights, and I don’t believe we can lose sight of the rights of the person who was raped.”
Schmidt’s bill would ban abortions except for those required to end a life-threatening pregnancy.
The bill does not include an exception for rape victims.
The bill would make it a felony to perform an abortion punishable by up to 1.5 years in state prison.
The bill would also criminalize abortion medication.
The only abortions allowed under the bill would be if two doctors who do not work together agree that an abortion is necessary to prevent death or “a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant individual.”