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30 November 2011

Ohio Anti-Abortion Heartbeat Bill

By Diana Hsieh

In late June, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a wildly restrictive anti-abortion bill that would outlaw abortion after the detection of any fetal heartbeat, usually around 9 to 10 weeks. (Since pregnancy is counted from the last menstrual period, that means 7-8 weeks after conception, often before women even realize that they're pregnant.)

Now, that legislation will be headed to the Ohio Senate:

The legislation had passed the Ohio House 54-44 on June 28, but has sat almost five months without even being referred to a Senate committee.

Ohio Senate Republicans, under pressure from an anti-abortion group to act, will move a bill that bans abortions in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, says Senate President Tom Niehaus.

The New Richmond Republican said this week that a four-month Senate impasse on the so-called "heartbeat" legislation has broken, and his caucus is prepared to move forward with committee hearings and eventual passage of the legislation. If the heartbeat bill becomes law and withstands any legal challenges, Ohio would have the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
So will it pass? I think so:
The Senate is dominated by Republicans, who hold a 23-10 majority, and the GOP caucus is solidly anti-abortion rights. ... Rob Nichols, spokesman for Gov. John Kasich, said the Republican governor "has been consistently pro-life all of his public life" but doesn't generally take a position on bills that haven't reached his desk.

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