"Joseph P. Kinnerary U.S. Courthouse, Columbus, Ohio" by Carol M. Highsmith / Public Domain

Janet Porter: The Architect of Ohio’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bills

Dec 20, 2018

By Ally Boguhn

She may not be a household name, but you’ve undoubtedly heard of her handiwork. Anti-choice activist Janet Porter has spent years pushing her “heartbeat” legislation, which would outlaw abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy—before many even know they are pregnant.

Porter’s push is again gaining momentum in the waning days of Ohio’s legislative session. Its latest iteration, HB 258, was approved by Republicans in the state house in November and passed by an 18-13 vote in the state senate last week. Though Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed a similar measure in 2016, even if he does so again, there may be enoughvotes for lawmakers to override it. If not, the anti-choice restriction will see a friendlier ally next time around in incoming-Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who has promised to sign such legislation.

Porter is the president and founder of anti-choice group Faith2Action, which claims on its website to be “the nation’s largest network of pro-family groups.” Before founding the organization, she was the national director of the Center for Reclaiming America from 1997 to 2002, according to a biography of Porter provided on her organization’s website. As the Daily Beast reported in a July 2013 feature on Porter, “Among the center’s most prominent projects was ‘Truth in Love,’ a nationwide ad campaign promoting gay-conversion therapy through the testimony of ‘ex-gays’ and accusations that pro-gay forces were trying to stymie discussion.”

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