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Ohio Lawmakers Pass ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill

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Ohio Lawmakers Pass ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill

Heartbeat abortion bill

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception, clearing the way for one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the United States if it becomes law.

The Republican-led state House of Representatives and Senate passed the so-called “heartbeat” measure late on Tuesday, sending it to be signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich.

Kasich, an abortion opponent, has in the past questioned whether such legislation would be constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide more than four decades ago, but states were allowed to permit restrictions once a fetus was viable. Some states, particularly those governed by Republicans such as Ohio, have sought to chip away at a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

Lower courts have struck down similar “heartbeat” laws in North Dakota and Arkansas and the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals on those rulings in January.

But now, with Republican President-elect Donald Trump having the opportunity to fill at least one Supreme Court vacancy, conservatives in Ohio hope that the legislation can withstand a challenge in court.

“A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic, and there was consensus in our caucus to move forward,” Senate President Keith Faber told the Columbus Dispatch.

“It has a better chance than it did before,” Faber said of the bill’s chances of surviving a constitutional challenge, according to the Dispatch.

The heartbeat legislation has been approved twice before by the state’s lower house only to fail in the Senate.

The abortion legislation was part of a wider bill on reporting child abuse. It does not make exceptions for rape and incest, though it does allow for abortions that would save the mother’s life, according to text of the legislation.

Some women’s rights groups were swift to condemn the approval of the bill. The Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research organization that supports abortion rights and tracks abortion legislation, said it would be one of the most restrictive abortion laws if enacted.

“Banning women from getting a medical procedure is out of touch with Ohio values and is completely unacceptable,” abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; editing by Richard Lough)



  1. Dan S December 7, 2016

    And back to the dark age of coat wire hangers in a back alley we go

  2. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

    The United States had an opportunity to preserve the social gains made during the last century or so, it decided to give a chance to a man that promised to reverse what took so long to accomplish, and we now have nobody to blame for what is about to happen but ourselves. Suck it up!
    BTW, abortion is just part of what is about to change in the not too distant future. Speaker Ryan is already working on legislation to “repeal, and delay” the ACA, change MEDICARE to a voucher system with subsidies to help seniors pay for healthcare premiums provided by for profit insurance companies, and privatize Social Security. To their credit, Ryan and other conservatives did not hide their intentions. They were proud to tell everyone, we voted to Make America Great Again, and we are about to get what we deserve…maybe with a bit of help from a bear from the North.

    1. dpaano December 7, 2016

      They have NO idea how to “make American Great,” when it was ALREADY great. All they will do is take it back to the dark ages…..and I thought we were all progressives and NOT regressives!

  3. jmprint December 7, 2016

    What does anyone have to gain by passing a law like this?

    1. latebloomingrandma December 7, 2016

      The anti-abortion people get to pat themselves on the back that they saved babies’ lives, and be self righteous about it. Meanwhile, I smell a new underground industry developing for illegal, dirty abortions. Abortions will NOT be halted this way, but you can’t convince certain people of this.

      1. dpaano December 7, 2016

        And, the stupidest part is, as I said earlier, that they’ve tried to put Planned Parenthood out of business. This organization does more for women in obtaining or learning about proper birth control than any other organization. Planned Parenthood, in my opinion, has saved more baby’s lives than any of the “pro-life” idiots! As I said before, and I’ll continue to say…….the government has NO right to make these decisions for us! If they did, they should also think about banning Viagra or birth control for men also!!! After all, it takes two to tango, and generally after the woman finds herself pregnant, one of the two has fled the scene, leaving her to deal with the aftermath whether she likes it or not!!

      2. jmprint December 7, 2016

        For a pat on their back they are willing to hurt women who’s circumstances range any where from being raped, incest, health or economic burdens. I guess more babies will end up in the dumpster, or in toilets. A bloody shame these men have nothing to think about but women’s affairs.

      3. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

        I also see a significant increase in the number of women traveling to places like the Dominican Republic, for weekend getaways…

        1. dpaano December 8, 2016

          Which is pretty darn sad…..many women can’t afford the trip and end up having to support a child they can’t afford because the so-called “father” has disappeared! Maybe the government needs to get MORE involved in locating these neer-do-wells and making them pay child support! My mother always said that if any of her 3 daughters got pregnant out of wedlock, she’d hunt the father down like a dog and make him pay until the child was 18 years old! My mom was an ex-Army sergeant….if she said she was going to do that….you can pretty much guarantee that she would get it done! Unfortunately, parents don’t seem to take the initiative of going after the “father” and making him do his duty to support the child! That would NOT happen in my family, and if we were underage at the time, my mom would have had them arrested for statutory rape! Mom was a tough woman, but we need more tough women as mothers nowadays!!

          1. Dominick Vila December 8, 2016

            …and because those who oppose abortion, and even birth control, are too busy getting rid of all the social programs that help single mothers, and ensure children are fed, have warm, a pair of shoes, and get a decent education.

  4. dpaano December 7, 2016

    When is our government going get their asses out of our medical decisions. Whether to have an abortion or not should be ONLY a decision made by the mother, the father, and the mother’s doctor…..NOT some government wacko! It’s NONE of their business what we do with our bodies and what decisions we make about having a child or not! They’ve already tried to ban Planned Parenthood, which does most of its business providing birth control (which, by the way, stops women from having to have an abortion to begin with)! If a woman is willing to pay for her own abortion….the government needs to stay out of the picture! As for all these “pro-life” idiots…..try raising a child when you’re a single mother. Once the child is born, the government does NOTHING to help the mother……they don’t go after the father (who generally has fled the scene), they try their best to keep the mother from getting any kind of welfare or assistance to take care of the child, and I could go on and on! Keep out of our vaginas!!!!! It’s NONE of your business or anyone else’s business what decisions we make!!!

    1. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

      The funniest part of this unfortunate situation is that the people who support government interference in our most intimate personal decisions, are the same ones that claim to be in favor of smaller government.

  5. 1Zoe55 December 7, 2016

    Texas just reduced the funding to the disabled (including children) in their rotten state. So much for these people who want to control women’s bodies. They just loove the fetus, but they sure as hell starve the child. Ryan thinks children suffer when offered free lunches. Just what Catholic God does Ryan worship? If it were his children, they would get as much food as they wanted.

    1. jmprint December 7, 2016

      And I bet a million dollars if his daughter got raped and got pregnant he wouldn’t force her to have an unwanted pregnancy.


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