‘Heartbeat Bill’ Gets Another Chance in Ohio

Ultrasound and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine - collage.
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DR. SUSAN BERRY

Lawmakers in Ohio reintroduced a bill Tuesday that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six or seven weeks into pregnancy.

The Ohio legislature already passed the “Heartbeat Bill,” as it is called, but former Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed the measure and the state Senate came up short one vote of the two-thirds majority needed to override his veto.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, however, has said he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk.

Dr. Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood president, tweeted in December that six-week abortion bans “are rooted in ideology, not safe medicine”:

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, a Republican, said the “Heartbeat Bill” would be a priority for the early part of the session, and the House would also likely move quickly on the measure.

Ohio Right to Life confirmed the legislation was identified as a top priority.

In a press release, the pro-life organization noted Ohio state Sens. Kristina Roegner and Peggy Lehner — both Republicans — were sponsoring the bill. Obhof and GOP state Sens. Bob Peterson and Matt Huffman — among other lawmakers — were co-sponsoring the bill.

“A detectable heartbeat is the clearest indicator that life is present,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, in a statement, adding:

Ohio law should recognize this reality and protect unborn babies with a heartbeat. Ohio continues to lead the nation in advancing pro-life policy and we are excited to engage our pro-life legislature and Governor. We believe that the Human Heartbeat Protection Act is the next step in our incremental approach to end abortion-on-demand.

Kasich did sign the Dismemberment Abortion Ban into law — a priority for Ohio Right to Life — just prior to Christmas.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio tweeted the ban was “shameful,” and “highlights the misguided and dangerous priorities of our state legislators.”

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