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ACLU celebrates 100th anniversary on Public Square

Posted at 11:32 PM, Apr 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-27 23:32:28-04

CLEVELAND — For 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting to protect the rights of people in the United States. On Saturday, the group marked its centennial with celebrations nationwide, including on Public Square in Cleveland.

The ACLU has battled over a number of headlines, including the Heartbeat Bill.

It took three tries, but just this month Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law and the ACLU immediately promised to sue.

The Heartbeat Bill makes Ohio's abortion laws some of the strictest in the nation, banning abortion once a heartbeat is detected. That can be as early as six weeks, without an exception to rape and incest.

The ACLU called it unconstitutional.

"The major concern about this legislation is the erosion of the constitutional liberty and protections of women to have the right to choose and to have the right to determine their own future and their own bodies," Ben Guess, director of the ACLU in Ohio said.

Similar bills are either on the table or already passed in a number of other states, and some have been struck down in courts.

Many believe Governor DeWine's signature on Ohio's Heartbeat Bill sets the state up for a legal battle that abortion opponents hope reaches the U.S. Supreme Court and overturns Roe vs. Wade.

Senate President Larry Obhof who co-sponsored the bill said this will be one of the most protective laws in the nation.

The heartbeat bill goes into effect in July.