Ohio Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) talks with Vantage Career Center Superintendent Staci Kaufman during the Vantage Open House and Scholarship Dinner held on Monday night. Wachtmann will introduce legislation today that is aimed at preventing abortions after the first heartbeat is detected. (TB file photo)
Ohio Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) talks with Vantage Career Center Superintendent Staci Kaufman during the Vantage Open House and Scholarship Dinner held on Monday night. Wachtmann will introduce legislation today that is aimed at preventing abortions after the first heartbeat is detected. (TB file photo)
Ohio Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) is preparing for another battle over the abortion issue. On Wednesday, Wachtmann will introduce a bill that already has the eye of legislators and activists in many other states.

It has been dubbed the Heartbeat Bill. If enacted, it would prevent a woman from terminating a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That time comes usually in the first six weeks of the pregnancy, and can be as early as 18 days after conception.

"It was not my original idea, but I've been a pro-life leader here in Columbus for 26 years, and I'm committed to pushing the courts as far as we can go to protect human life, and that's clearly what this bill is all about," Wachtmann stated on Tuesday.

The bill was actually crafted by former Ohio Right To Life legislative director Janet Folger Porter, whom Wachtmann said he has known for two decades. The Ohio native also put together the nation's first ban on late-term abortions.

The bill is not without its critics, even among pro-life supporters. Some wonder about the constitutionality of such a measure. Those opposing the bill claim there is no doubt the measure is unconstitutional. Still other supporters worry that if the Heartbeat Bill was passed then overturned by the Supreme Court, it could actually hurt current laws already on the books. Wachtmann said he wants to begin the discussions.

"I'm introducing this bill to get the debate going to see how far we believe we can push the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding as strong a bill as possible, that is saving as many unborn babies as possible," Wachtmann declared. "It's been bandied around by the pro-life community around the country for a number of years, and Mrs. Porter, like myself, is wanting to take a bigger bite out of the proverbial apple, to try to push the agenda more toward a lot less abortion and a lot more life by going with this Heartbeat Bill."

Wednesday's announcement is timed to coincide with the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday and to play off the state's tourism slogan, 'Ohio. At the heart of it all.'"

According to Wachtmann, the discussion at the committee level in the Statehouse will be necessary to help make needed adjustments to the bill so that it will stand a constitutional test. Once that process has concluded, he expects the Heartbeat Bill to pass.

"I wouldn't have introduced the bill if I didn't think it had a reasonable chance to become law," he stated.

Either way, Wachtmann finds himself thrust into the middle of a red-hot debate that reaches far beyond Columbus and throughout the country.