Students discuss frustrations about Heartbeat Abortion Law


heartbeat bill 4/17

Mary Ross and Mary Ross

Emotional shockwaves are running through students at BGSU, both male and female, after Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill No. 69, otherwise known as the “Heartbeat Abortion Bill,” into law on April 11.

The bill serves to “generally prohibit an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable heartbeat and to create the Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support,” according to the bill.

The first part of this statement means if a heartbeat is detected in the fetus of a woman wishing an abortion, she is unable to undergo the procedure. The second part briefly describes implementing a new legislative committee which “may review or study any matter that it considers relevant to the adoption process in this state, with priority given to the study or review of mechanisms intended to increase awareness of the process, increase its effectiveness, or both.”

Freshman aviation studies major Jill Petrie took an emotional stance on the passing of this law.  

“Not that I’m going to get pregnant any time soon, but it makes me more worried about if it did happen to me; what would I be able to do?” Petrie questioned.

Any person asking similar questions, perhaps from experience, has access to Her Choice, a women’s health clinic across the street from the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

However, the representative of Her Choice declined to comment on the new law, stating it is their policy not to make comments on political issues.

Nonetheless, students at BGSU looked at the new law from several different lenses to discuss why they opposed it.

Sophomore computer science major Tyler Royer looked at this law from a scientific viewpoint.  

“Heartbeats can be detected before the mother even knows she is pregnant. I think that using the heartbeat to prove consciousness or development or just life in general is an outdated concept given that what truly makes us who we are is our brains. Some fetuses, for example, have a beating heart but fail to develop a brain at all. At that point, it’s ridiculous to force the mother to risk her life to give birth to a lifeless shell,” Royer said.

Freshman forensic biology and criminal justice major Chris Chandler had a similar thought process to Royer.

“Many illnesses fetuses develop aren’t present or diagnosable until after the heartbeat is shown, so preventing the abortion to happen could put both the mother and fetus in danger,” Chandler said.

The economy is also something Petrie believes DeWine and Congress didn’t pay much attention to when drafting this bill.

“I appreciate the addition of the adoption committee, even though the law still sucks. Even though the adoption piece is in there, it doesn’t think about the effects on the economy. It is going to create more economic issues in the state of Ohio because people have to get (a) lower paying job if they can’t be properly educated. They would have to have part time jobs to be able to take care of their child, so more people would be on welfare, which would hurt our economy,” Petrie said.

Royer believes the effects of this bill will be felt at BGSU and other colleges in Ohio.

“(The law) takes away the rights of women promised by the Fourteenth Amendment. Specifically, at BGSU and other college campuses throughout Ohio, many women can hardly afford higher education as it is, and forcing a dependent upon them will only ensure the mother doesn’t get any higher education or would ensure the child would end up in the system. Neither of these I would like to see happen,” Royer said.

Freshman social work major Courtney Foerg discussed her frustration about how this law is being passed by people who will be unaffected, despite not voicing her opinion on the morality of abortions.

“Regardless of whether or not I morally believe it’s right to get an abortion, it’s not right to legislate a women’s choice, especially in circumstances of rape. Moreover, it’s frustrating that the majority of the legislature who are passing this law are white males and will not be affected by the consequences of it,” Foerg said.

Freshman art education major Nick O’Toole summed up what many students interviewed felt.

“Woman should have the choice to do whatever they want with their bodies,” O’Toole said.

For more information on House Bill No. 69, visit