Ohio finally appears poised to pass a bill to ban abortions after an unborn baby has a detectable heartbeat this year.
State lawmakers came close to passing the pro-life legislation in 2016 and 2018, but then-Gov. John Kasich vetoed both bills. This year, with Republicans in control of both state houses and new Gov. Mike DeWine saying he will sign the legislation, it looks like it will pass.
The Springfield News-Sun reports state Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood introduced a heartbeat bill Monday with 50 co-sponsors.
The bill would prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy, in Ohio. At this point, many women do not even know they are pregnant; so the legislation could protect almost all unborn babies in Ohio if it goes into effect.
Here’s more from the report:
House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, said last week that he would like to see the Senate pass the heartbeat abortion ban bill first.
No problem, said Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina. “We are going to introduce it next week and we will pass it by the middle of March,” Obhof said last week. “We were planning on doing that irrespective of what happened in the other chamber.”
Ohio Right to Life supports the bill, saying it is “the next incremental approach to end abortion in Ohio,” the AP reports.
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However, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups oppose the bill and could sue the state if it becomes law.
In January, DeWine said he “absolutely” would sign a heartbeat bill, even though the abortion industry will challenge it.
“Ultimately, this will work its way up to the United States Supreme Court. And they’ll make that decision,” he said.
Pro-life lawmakers have introduced a number of heartbeat bills this winter, hoping for a victory with the new conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court. Similar bills are being considered in Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The bills almost certainly will face legal challenges if they become law. In January, a judge declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional.
The goal of the legislation is to prevent the deaths of thousands of unborn babies every year. However, even some pro-life advocates admit that the success of the legislation is uncertain. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”
When courts rule against such laws, state taxpayers often are forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.
There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.