Toledo, April 16, 2019 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) has issued a statement about the recent anti-abortion bill (also called the ‘Heartbeat’ bill) that was signed by the Governor.
The statement condemns in strong terms the legislature for passing the law that has neither public support nor is it based on any sound scientific facts.
“This is just plain codified theology,” Douglas Berger, President of SHoWLE said. “Conservatives complain about Muslims wanting to make Sharia law in the US and here the Ohio legislature passes a bill that is a Christian version of Sharia law. This has nothing to do with helping women and everything to do with controlling and punishing women.”
The so-called ‘heartbeat’ bill is one of over a dozen anti-abortion laws or policies passed in the GOP dominated legislature since 2013.
“As a group, we’ve decided enough is enough,” Berger said. “We will not work with any group that actively or philosophically supports banning or restricting abortion and we would suggest that businesses and nonprofits avoid Ohio when selecting locations for meetings or planning conferences.”
The Ohio legislature also has not supported comprehensive sex education in schools or efforts to provide free or low cost access to birth control and family planning.
Studies, such as one by the Guttmacher Institute in 2016, showed that one sure way to reduce abortion is to have comprehensive sex education and easy access to birth control. Teen abortions declined 64% in Colorado after a program provided low cost IUDs to public health clinics in that state.
“It seems like a common thread in legislatures that like to punish women. They also fear science,” Berger said. “This is why Humanists support separation of church and state because religious people shouldn’t make their religious beliefs into public laws that hurt others who don’t share those religious beliefs.”
Statement on the passage of the Heartbeat Bill in Ohio
In April of 2019, the Ohio legislature passed and the Governor signed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation. If this law is not overturned, it would prohibit abortions when a “heartbeat” is detected.
The logic and reasoning for this bill are not based in science fact or in basic human compassion. An entire segment of Ohio citizens will have their basic bodily integrity denied.
The passage of the bill was not based on any actual public support. Majorities of those polled in recent years have supported unrestricted access to abortions. In addition, the law will do more harm to those less able to afford an abortion and those already struggling with poverty.
The same theocrats who passed this terrible law are the same ones who refuse to fund real comprehensive sex education in the public schools or to help provide free or low cost birth control. Sex education and birth control are one way to actually reduce abortions without forcing your religious beliefs on others**.
The so-called “heartbeat” bill is just one of over a dozen attacks on reproductive rights in Ohio the past few years and the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) will no longer stay silent.
Going forward, SHoWLE will not work with ANY group that actively or philosophically supports banning or restricting abortion. In an effort to not support the political, financial, and religious agendas of the people who passed the ‘heartbeat’ bill, SHoWLE will encourage businesses and nonprofit groups avoid Ohio as a location choice for events or conferences.
SHoWLE will support groups and initiatives to restore our state government to one that bases public laws and policies on science facts instead of religious bigotry.
SHoWLE will support efforts to restore the Ohio legislature to one that actually represents how Ohioans voted rather than gerrymandered to keep and abuse its legislative power.
**New Clarity for the U.S. Abortion Debate: A Steep Drop in Unintended Pregnancy Is Driving Recent Abortion Declines, Guttmacher Institute, 2016 https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/03/new-clarity-us-abortion-debate-steep-drop-unintended-pregnancy-driving-recent-abortion
IUD program leads to big decline in teen pregnancies, abortions in Colorado https://www.denverpost.com/2017/11/30/colorado-teen-pregnancy-abortion-rates-drop-free-low-cost-iud/
About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie
The mission of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to provide a supportive local community for humanists and other nontheists, while promoting an ethical, reasonable, and secular approach to life through education, community service, outreach, activism, and social events.
We envision a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where secular people are respected and integrated in broader society, live values of reason and compassion, and enjoy a friendly humanist community.
Douglas Berger – President