Heartbeat Bill: Ohio Passes Toughest Abortion Law in the Country

Ohio may have just surpassed Texas as the toughest place in the nation to get an abortion, that is if Gov. John Kasich signs the bill.

According to the law, an abortion will be deemed illegal and punishable by law once a heartbeat can be detected.

Here’s more from USA Today:

Ohio would have the country’s most restrictive abortion laws under a bill sent to Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday, as leading Republicans were emboldened by the anticipation of Donald Trump’s upcoming federal and Supreme court appointments.

If signed by Kasich, the so-called “heartbeat bill” would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks’ gestation. The proposal would not exempt pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, but does include an exception for an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman.

The change would put the state in violation of current constitutional standards for abortion rights.

For years, Kasich, leading Republican senators and Ohio Right to Life have cited its unconstitutionality as their reason for opposing the heartbeat measure. Federal courts have struck down similar laws in North Dakota and Arkansas.

Senate President Keith Faber, a Republican from Celina, Ohio, even suggested last year that supporters of the heartbeat bill ultimately were undermining efforts “to save babies.”

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans changed course. Faber cited Trump’s election to the presidency as justification for his change of heart, saying the effort could have a shot in the courts with Trump’s appointees. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states cannot prohibit abortions unless a fetus is viable outside the womb, generally accepted as 24 weeks’ gestation.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis was skeptical of Faber’s logic that Trump’s presidency would dramatically change the heartbeat bill’s chances. The abortion-opponent group instead favors passage of a ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation as the vehicle for overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Everyone is swept up in Trumpmania, but let’s be realistic,” said Gonidakis.

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