The Ohio Senate “Heartbeat Bill” was initially introduced by Republican Representatives Christina Hagan and Ron Hood. On Wednesday, the bill was passed.
The anti-abortion bill was passed in the GOP-controlled Senate by an 18-13 vote. Now the legislation must return to the House for agreement by the Senate in committee.
What the Ohio “Heartbeat Bill” essentially states is that abortions would be outlawed at the point when a fetal heartbeat is detected. That means the ban could kick in as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
By that time, many women don’t even know that they’re pregnant. The bill would be one of the strictest abortion regulations in the country.
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. The Ohio House approved the legislation last month and in its current state, it makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
The bill would also allow the state medical board to revoke the license of any doctor performing an abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. The revocation would occur without going the parties needing to go through a court process.
Republican Gov. John Kasich has promised to veto the bill as he did with a similar one in 2016. However, Republican Gov.-elect Mike DeWine, who takes office in January, said he would sign it.
Kasich has 10 business days to veto the bill which would cause lawmakers to return to session during the Christmas break to override his veto. It's not clear if the Ohio Senate has a large enough majority to do so.
In the Senate Chambers, a row of protesters stood silently in protest wearing t-shirts saying "Stop The Ban." When the bill was passed the protectors could be heard shouting "Shame! Shame!"
The policy director for the ACLU of Ohio Jocelyn Rosnick called the bill a “total abortion ban.” She added:
“Yes, they’re packaging it as ‘six weeks,’ but in reality, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at that time, and it will be impossible for them to access abortion when they find out.”
The US Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, said that states may not ban abortion outright before the fetus is determined to be viable. It said the fetus was recognized as viable by the medical community as around 24 weeks’ gestation.