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Ohio Governor John Kasich (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Abortion rights

‘Heartbeat Bill’ that would ban abortions after 6 weeks passed by lawmakers in Ohio

December 7, 2016

A controversial “Heartbeat Bill” has passed in Ohio, requiring only the approval of Republican Governor and former presidential candidate John Kasich to make abortion in the state illegal the moment a fetus’s heartbeat is first detected — typically an occurrence that happens about six weeks into a pregnancy.

“We are a pro-life caucus,” said state Senator Kris Jordan, who helped amend House Bill 493 — which was meant to help victims of child abuse — so that it included the anti-abortion measure. “The passage of this legislation in the Ohio Senate demonstrates our commitment to protecting the children of Ohio at every stage of life.”

State Senator Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, expressed disappointment at the bill’s passage. “I believe everyone has a right to their own body,” said Tavares. “We allowed a good bill that protects the health and safety of our children to be bastardized into a government takeover of women’s wombs.”

Similar “Heartbeat bills” have been found unconstitutional by federal courts in Arkansas and North Dakota.

Asked if he thought the Ohio bill would survive a legal challenge, Ohio Senate President Keith Faber said that “a new President, new Supreme Court justice appointees change the dynamic.” Should Kasich approve the bill, the Ohio ACLU has promised to fight the legislation in the court system.

The bill is the latest in a flurry of attempts by various states to limit women’s rights to abortions. Late last month, Texas enacted new rules that require aborted fetuses to be buried a cremated — a move that was roundly criticized by pro-choice advocates.

Read the full story at CNN.


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