Ohio Democratic Representative Janine Boyd proposed a controversial amendment earlier this month that would make African-American babies exempt from the state’s new “heartbeat bill.”
Ohio is the [sixth] state to have implemented the pro-life bill. This new legislation bans abortion once the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, which tends to be at approximately six weeks gestation.
Boyd, however, believes that the heartbeat bill should not apply for African-Americans because America is “not far enough beyond our history to legislate as if it is.”
She cited the way pregnant black women were treated during the slave trade as justification:
“I consider the slave trade and how black slaves were once treated like cattle and put out to stud in order to create generations of more slaves. I consider how many masters raped their slaves.
I consider how many masters forced their slaves to have abortions, and I consider how many pregnant slaves self-induced abortions so that they would not contribute children they had to the slave system that was the foundational economic system of our country, our younger country.
And so I submit to you, respectfully, that our country is not far enough beyond our history to legislate as if it is.
And so I ask you with all of your values to consider that and vote yes to this amendment.”
— Tré Goins-Phillips 💻 (@tregp) April 16, 2019
Republican Representative Derek Merrin immediately expressed his opposition to Boyd’s proposal in response.
“I strongly object to the amendment,” said Merrin. “I believe, and I believe the majority of this committee believes, the law should be applied equally to all citizens of this state, regardless of race.”
“A female, African-American democratic state representative from Ohio presented this amendment to the Ohio Heartbeat bill,” wrote Johnson. “This amendment would have made an exception for African-American babies…because apparently a 38 [percent] national abortion rate in the African-American community isn’t enough.”
A female, African-American democratic state representative from Ohio presented this amendment to the Ohio Heartbeat…
The amendment that would exempt African-American babies from the “heartbeat bill” was ultimately struck down by an 11-7 vote — a clear victory for the pro-life community.