On August 13, 2013 Stark County's Christina Hagan (Republican - Ohio House District 50) of Marlboro Township introduced House Bill 248 which is known as "the Heartbeat Bill."
A co-sponsor was fellow Stark County Republican Kirk Schuring (Ohio House District 48) of Jackson Township.
It appears that unlike Arkansas and North Dakota which have passed similar legislation and which, predictably, are in the process of challenge in the federal court system, Hagan's bill in Ohio has about the same chance as the proverbial "snowball in Hell."
The bill would prevent medical doctors from aborting fetuses at about six weeks into a pregnancy which is the point about which a heartbeat can be detected.
While the life of a mother is an exception to the provision; pregnancy due to rape and incest is not.
But this legislative week has not been without some success for Hagan.
She did gain passage of her House Bill (HB) 10 with the support of all three of her fellow Stark County legislators.
HB 10 is legislation designed to prevent a repeat of the April, 2009 discovered theft of some $3 million from the Stark County treasury by former Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci. He is now serving time in federal prison for the theft.
While Hagan's work on HB 10 was significant for Stark Countians in light of the Frustaci matter, it did not get the near the notoriety that HB 248 got her.
As the SCPR sees it, Hagan's fixation on the heartbeat legislation could have either of two effects:
- it could doom any future political aspirations she has, or
- it could, especially in a federal office context, catapult in a limelight that might someday be the equivalent of:
- Christine O'Donnell of Delaware fame for her extreme right wing Republican politics, or alternatively
- Michele Bachmann of Minnesota
That's how right-wing the SCPR thinks Hagan is.
For Hagan the key is whether or not she can avoid the tag of being "way out there somewhere" in the minds of more circumspect voters than the core right wingers who support her no matter what.
She did get a plurality for HB 248 in the Ohio House, but a majority is needed.
However, political observers who know Statehouse politics doubt she can get it through the Ohio Senate and, even if she does, through a gubernatorial veto.
Recently re-elected Governor John Kasich has presidential aspirations and he certainly does not want to be identified with the extreme right wing of the Republican Party.
A show of divisiveness even within the Ohio Republican Party is the fact that 11 of Hagan's fellow House Republican voted against her heartbeat bill.
Stark County's lone Democrat; namely, Stephen Slesnick of Canton, took the coward's way out and did not vote on the final voted upon version of the bill.
It will be interesting for Stark Countians to track Hagan's political future.
It could be that Stark County and Ohio's 50th House District could be in the national news, wanted or unwanted.