OH 'heartbeat' abortion bill approved, heads to Gov. John Kasich's desk

OH 'heartbeat' abortion bill approved, heads to Gov. John Kasich's desk

The "Heartbeat Bill", which would outlaw abortions after about six weeks, would be a bounding leap in that direction. Pro-abortion rights group NARAL Ohio immediately spoke out against the ban, saying it would "block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they're pregnant".

The bill passed in the GOP-held Senate by a party-line vote of 21-10, despite Democratic Party objections. Not only would it be unconstitutional, it would shift focus away from women's reproductive rights to the fetus; the "heartbeat bill" is meant to ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a woman's pregnancy. However, courts found North Dakota's and Arkansas's "heartbeat laws" unconstitutional, as Roe v. Wade protect a woman's right to abortion until "fetal viability", which a six-week fetus certainly isn't.

The bill includes exceptions for situations where a woman's life is in danger or if she could be significantly impaired without an abortion, which is a stronger exception than the one included in a bill barring abortions after 20 weeks that the Assembly has been considering since previous year.

"One, a new President, new Supreme Court justice appointees change the dynamic, and that there was a consensus in our caucus to move forward", Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, a Republican from Celina, told reporters after the final vote. It also makes exceptions for women whose life is under threat due to their pregnancy, but not to victims of rape or incest.

State Rep. Jim Buchy, a Greenville Republican, said if OH cities are allowed to set varying minimum wage levels, it would "help destroy the economy" of the state. The measure-the so-called heartbeat bill-now goes to the House, which passed a similar measure earlier this year.

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Current Ohio law generally prohibits abortions of viable fetuses. IN banned abortions performed because of fetal disability, or on the basis of a fetus' sex or race. "And by the way, the vast majority of abortions are performed on women who were not raped". While the House has approved it twice before, however, the bill never made it past the Senate.

The ACLU of OH warned that if Kasich signs the controversial bill into law they will fight it.

Lawmaker in Columbus have passed a bill to ease overcrowding in Ohio's state operated prisons by allowing more people to be housed in prisons for profit, such as the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center on Hubbard Road. Lawmakers plan to pass a 20-week ban as well, so Kasich could veto the stricter abortion ban while still tightening Ohio's restrictions on abortion. However, Kasich said on several occasions in the past two years he opposed the Heartbeat Bill, primarily because of constitutional concerns.

Asked if he thought the bill would survive a legal challenge, he said: "I think it has a better chance than it did before". Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, even suggested past year that supporters of the heartbeat bill ultimately were undermining efforts "to save babies". The latter provision is a higher standard than the exception for a woman's health included in the 20-weeks bill that passed the Senate previous year.

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