Ohio House Bill 69

Teresa Fedor: Lawmaker Argues Against ‘Heartbeat’ Bill, Opens Up About Her Own Abortion

Representative Teresa Fedor made a strong statement in her argument against Ohio House Bill 69. Dubbed the “Heartbeat Bill,” the proposed legislation would effectively ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Instead of relying on statistics and anecdotes, Fedor shared her own experience with being raped and having an abortion.

Although the legislation includes a stipulation for medical emergency and medical necessity, House Bill 69 would not allow exceptions for rape or incest. That specific point spawned a heated and emotional reaction during an Ohio House debate.

As reported by Toledo Blade, the ongoing debate inspired State Teresa Fedor to share her own story. The Representative began by revealing that she was raped while serving in the military. As a result of that rape, Fedor became pregnant and subsequently had an abortion. Although the decision was certainly difficult, Fedor said she is thankful she had a choice. During the debate, she explained that she simply does not want that freedom taken away.

“You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion… What you’re doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional… I dare any one of you to judge me… I dare you to walk in my shoes… I understand your story, but you don’t understand mine… It is a personal decision, and how dare government get into my business.”

A native of Toledo, Teresa Fedor served in the United States Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard. As discussed in her General Assembly profile, she then attended the University of Toledo, where she received a B.S. in Education. Prior to her career in public service, Fedor worked as a teacher for nearly 20 years.

Beginning in 2000, Fedor served in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. In recent years, she has focused her efforts on legislation to curb human trafficking and bullying. She also strongly supports legislation to improve education.

Teresa Fedor’s statement remains a point of heated controversy. Her supporters have commended the Representative for having the courage to share her own story. However, those who support House Bill 69 were not swayed.

Following the debate, the Ohio House voted to pass the bill in a vote of 55-40. It is unclear whether House Bill 69 will receive similar support in the Senate, as they refused to pass the bill in 2013.

Teresa Fedor kept her secret for many years — even from some of her closest family and friends. However, she does not regret discussing her rape and abortion in an attempt to raise awareness.

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