Ohio has officially banned abortions after 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant. The law will make an exception to save a woman’s life, however no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. It will take effect in 90 days unless blocked by a federal judge.
The law also creates punishments for doctors who perform abortions. Doctors who perform abortion after a heartbeat is detected face a fifth-degree felony, up to a year in jail, and the State Medical Board may impose fines up to $20,000.
Similar bills have been deemed unconstitutional in states such as Kentucky and Iowa. The ACLU of Ohio has also said it will be suing the state on behalf of Planned Parenthoods throughout Ohio. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed a similar bill several times, saying that it would be too expensive for the state to go to court over.
Ohio is now the fifth state this year to sign a heartbeat bill into law. While many of these laws end up being blocked by federal judges, they have become part of a larger movement to overturn Roe V. Wade.
Media Resources: NPR 4/11/19; NY Mag 4/11/19