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'Heartbeat Bill' passes Ohio Senate, heads to Republican-controlled House

Posted: 3:55 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-13 19:55:51Z
An in-depth look at the Heartbeat Bill

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate passed SB23, more commonly referred to as the “Heartbeat Bill,” Wednesday afternoon. The bill would prohibit abortions after a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.

The 19-13 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the Republican-controlled House. GOP Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he’d sign such a ban.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Kristina Roegner (R) from Ohio's 27th District.

Governor John Kasich vetoed the same bill more than two years ago, saying it was contrary to the prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion. He vetoed the bill a second time in December 2018, shortly before leaving office. Courts in other states have halted similar legislation, including Arkansas, North Dakota and Iowa.

Proponents of the legislation said the bill affirms the right to life for Ohio’s unborn children.

If signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the bill would be among the most restrictive abortion measures in the country. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy before many women know they’re pregnant.

The bill includes an exemption if a mother’s life is at risk, but no exemption for cases involving rape or incest.

Similar pieces of legislation have been introduced by lawmakers in the past, dating back to 2011.