Governor DeWine signs Ohio’s heartbeat abortion bill into law

Ohio Headlines
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A bill banning abortions in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat is detected has been signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. Opponents vow to sue.

The bill cleared its final hurdle Wednesday when the Ohio Senate agreed to House changes 18-13. The Ohio House had approved the measure 56-39 earlier in the day.

DeWine took office in January. Backers hope he will be true to his word and sign the bill twice vetoed by his predecessor, Republican John Kasich, who said enacting the heartbeat bill would prompt a costly court battle and it would likely be found unconstitutional.

DeWine signed the bill Thursday afternoon.

The ACLU of Ohio announced on Thursday that it will file a lawsuit challenging the Senate Bill 23, legislation that would ban all abortions in the State of Ohio. 

BREAKING – We will be filing a lawsuit challenging SB 23 – the unconstitutional total abortion ban. Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bill in the coming days. @ACLU @PretermMAML @PPSWO @PPAOhio @ProChoiceOH @WHOohio @OhioRCRC #StopTheBans

— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) April 11, 2019

Ohio joins five other states that have passed such restrictive abortion measures. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy before many women even find out they’re pregnant.

The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

The measure, aimed at sparking a challenge to Roe vs. Wade, appears poised to become law.

After nearly 10 years of fighting, Democrats on Tuesday’s House Health Committee shared tales of back alleys and coat hangers, the lessons of slavery, the book of Genesis. Advocates testified lawmakers would lose support from faith communities, doctors and young voters.

None of it budged a largely closed-mouthed GOP majority. Republicans appeared confident prohibiting pregnancy termination once a fetal heartbeat is detected is the best thing for the unborn, for women and for Ohio.

Tap here to read a copy of the bill.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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