Ohio House Passes Bill Banning Abortion in the Presence of Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat
The Ohio House passed a bill Thursday banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected, marking a significant pro-life push in the state.
The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 258, also called the Heartbeat Bill, in a 58-35 vote Thursday, according to Cleveland.com. The bill bans abortions upon the presence of a baby’s heartbeat and makes exceptions only in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. No exceptions for rape, incest or baby abnormalities are included in the bill.
A heartbeat typically becomes detectable between six and nine weeks gestation.
The bill is sponsored by Republican state Reps. Christina Hagan and Ron Hood. “We know when a heartbeat stops that we have lost a human life,” said Hagan, according to Cleveland.com.
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed a similar “heartbeat bill” in 2016. It would have been the most restrictive U.S. abortion law if it had been signed.
“Bills such as these are a reminder of the medical realities of life and that abortion ends a unique creation in the womb, something that we in the pro-life movement reflect on daily,” Students for Life of America President Kristen Hawkins told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email Friday.
A number of Democrats oppose the bill, especially given that it includes no exceptions for rape or incest.
“Victims of rape should not have additional control of their bodies taken away from them,” Democratic state Rep. Nickie Antonio said. “It should be a survivor’s decision to make.”
Arkansas, North Dakota and Iowa have passed similar heartbeat abortion bans, but have faced injunctions and court orders preventing them from enforcing the bans.
Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a heartbeat bill into law in May, prohibiting women from having abortions if they are six weeks or further along in pregnancy. A judge placed a temporary injunction on the law in June, however, after Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit claiming that the law is cruel and reckless.
Ohio bans abortions in other cases, including when a child will be born with Down syndrome. Kasich signed House Bill 214 in December 2017, effectively banning doctors from aborting babies testing positive for the congenital disorder.
Ohio bans abortions after 20 weeks.
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