Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R) announced that the Senate Republicans plan to advance a “heartbeat bill” that has already passed the House. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected. This could occur as early as 6 weeks following conception before many women are even aware they are pregnant. The bill, which passed the Ohio House in June by a vote of 54-44 has no exceptions for rape or incest.
Currently Republicans hold the majority in the Ohio Senate. If passed, the law would directly challenge the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which allows women to obtain abortion services until fetal viability at 22-24 weeks and would be one of the most restrictive laws on abortion in the country.