Ohio Senate passes controversial heartbeat bill for the third time

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Is the third time the charm for Ohio’s controversial heartbeat bill?

The Ohio Senate passed the bill for the third time, likely sending the bill back to the governor’s desk later this month. The bill would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

This version of the bill makes exceptions if the mother’s health is in danger but does not allow exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Both anti-abortion and pro-choice advocates expect the bill to pass the house and be signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine. Both also expect the bill to be challenged in court.

Former Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar bills in 2016 and 2018. Last year, legislators tried to override Kasich’s veto, but failed to get the required number of votes to do so in the Senate.

Ohio is one of more than 10 states attempting to pass a fetal heartbeat bill. Several heartbeat bills that were signed into law have been overturned by various courts, but the Supreme Court has refused to take up any cases involving heartbeat bills in recent years.  

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