Published: Sun, April 14, 2019

States pushing near-bans on abortion, concentrating on Roe v. Wade

States pushing near-bans on abortion, concentrating on Roe v. Wade

Senate Bill 23, the legislation that passed and was signed by DeWine after two vetoes of similar bills by former Gov. John Kasich, states that if a heartbeat is detected in the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying then a doctor can only perform an abortion if a medical emergency necessitating the abortion exists, the bill states.

A bill imposing one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the nation was signed into law in OH on Thursday, banning abortions after a detectable heartbeat in a long-sought victory for abortion opponents that drew an immediate constitutional challenge.

After Kentucky's governor signed the heartbeat bill, and before it was blocked, "we could feel the fear", said Marcie Crim of the Kentucky Health Justice Network, which runs a fund supporting Kentuckians who opt to get abortions. "Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end, to protect those who can not protect themselves, such as the elderly, the unborn, those who are sick, those who have mental illness or have an addiction", Mr DeWine said at a mid-afternoon signing ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday. The only exceptions will be if the woman's life is in danger, but not in cases of rape or incest.

Already this year, there have been two other states - Kentucky and MS - where similar so-called "heartbeat" bills have been signed into law.

"I am delighted that today the governor signed a bill, boldly declaring that OH will protect an unborn life", Roegner said.

Michael New, an abortion opponent who teaches social research at Catholic University of America, warned that it is impossible to predict what the court will do but said Kavanaugh's appointment "gives pro-lifers hope that legislation which offers more comprehensive protection to the unborn will receive a sympathetic hearing".

A transvaginal ultrasound scan can sometimes detect the foetal heartbeat as early as five weeks gestation, before most women even know they are pregnant. The ACLU of OH announced it will sue to stop the law, which the group says "virtually bans all abortion care".

Regardless of what happens with Ohio's bill, the sting in the legislature is palpable.

Kemp said this week that he plans to sign the bill by May 10. Since taking office in January, DeWine had said he planned to sign whichever version of the heartbeat bill ended up on his desk.

Ohio's so-called heartbeat bill won't even get to the US Supreme Court, but it will cost OH taxpayers millions, she said.

(Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP) Gov. Mike DeWine signs a bill imposing one of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions, April 11, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio Senate originally passed the bill last month.

OH has passed a law making it illegal to procure an abortion after six weeks gestation. The legislation also allows the State Medical Board to take disciplinary actions against doctors found in violation and impose penalties of up to $20,000.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis called the law "the first step" in overturning Roe v. Wade nationwide.

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