Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill” All But Bans Abortion

Anti-abortion activists see an opportunity after the election

Abortion rights advocates in the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. July 13, 2013(AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa File)

Abortion rights advocates in the State Capitol in Austin, Texas. July 13, 2013(AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa File)

This week, news broke that Ohio legislators passed what is being called the “Heartbeat Bill.” The bill bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually after the sixth week of pregnancy.

The argument that most women are unaware of their pregnancy until after the sixth week of conception, making the law undermine a woman’s choice, has been one of the greatest talking points by the law’s critics.

After years of never making it past the state legislators, the bill’s crusaders cited President-elect Trump’s incoming administration and the inevitable new Supreme Court abortion decision on abortion, for bringing the Heartbeat Bill to the state senate.

Should former Republican presidential candidate and current Governor of Ohio, John Kaisch, passes the legislation, Ohio would effectively have the strictest time restrictions on abortion. Among it’s other controversies, the bill does not make allowances for cases of rape and incest. It does, however, grant an abortion on the condition that the mother’s life is in immediate danger.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Center for Reproductive Rights intend to fight against the Heartbeat Bill in court on the grounds that it places an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.

Governor Kaisch has until December 16 to sign or veto the bill. If he signs or decides not veto, it will be law within the first weeks of 2017.

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