Politifact 'Pants On Fire' For Maddow On Ohio Fetal Heartbeat Law

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow received a “Pants On Fire” rating from the PolitiFact Ohio Truth-O-Meter for her statement on her June 28 show in which she said that an Ohio budget item, later signed into law by Gov. John Kasich (R), requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a “mandatory vaginal probe.”

The report states:

Viewers of MSNBC’s "The Rachel Maddow Show" recently got a preview of the heated rhetoric that will typify this debate over the next 16 months as Kasich seeks a second term. Maddow, the cable news program’s liberal host, noted on her June 28 broadcast the anti-abortion measures the GOP-controlled General Assembly had added to the budget, which Kasich had yet to sign.

In interpreting some of the budget’s more-ambiguous abortion language, Maddow contended that the new regulations included a "mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state."

Maddow was referring to a new requirement that women seeking abortions first receive ultrasounds to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present. Her provocative words quickly went viral and sent PolitiFact Ohio in search of a full copy of the massive state budget.

According to PolitiFact Ohio, Division A of Section 2919.191 of the Ohio Revised Code states that before performing an abortion, a provider must “determine whether there is a detectable fetal heartbeat of the unborn human individual the pregnant woman is carrying.”

Detection of the heartbeat is done according to Division C:

The director of health may promulgate rules pursuant to section 111.15 of the Revised Code specifying the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn individual based on standard medical practice. The rules shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.

Hence, no “mandatory vaginal probe.”


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