The Ohio House has once again passed a pro-life bill that would ban abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected.
“This bill basically says if there is a heartbeat you cannot abort. If there is a heartbeat, there is life…there is no debating that,” said Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville, according to Dayton Daily News.
On Nov. 15, the heartbeat bill passed the House 58-35. The bill will now head to the Ohio Senate before the legislative session ends in December.
If the bill becomes law, it would ban abortions at around six weeks, or once a baby’s heart beat is detected. It does not make an exception for incest or rape.
Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, pushed for an amendment which would mandate sex education in K-12 schools in Ohio. This amendment has been tabled.
The bill had originally passed in 2016, but was vetoed by Ohio Governor John Kasich (R). The recent vote in the House was two shy of the 60 votes it needs to override a potential veto.
Kasich has signed into law 18 abortion regulations or restrictions, including a 20-week ban; the heartbeat bill is the single one he has vetoed.
Pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice have opposed the bill. Catherine Ingram, D-Cincinnati, said the bill would bring back dangerous methods of abortion procedures.
In the past, the bill was supported by pro-life organizations such as the Susan B. Anthony List. However, Ohio Right to Life pushed back against the bill, noting that similar legislation in other states have been overturned by the courts.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said in 2016 that the U.S. Supreme Court has also refused to hear appeals to those cases.
“Legal scholars believe that asking the Court to entertain a third heartbeat law at this time would cause irreparable harm to the pro-life movement,” he said.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, abortions increased last year by 1 percent compared to the previous year. Out of the 20,893 abortions performed in 2017, the report stated, almost half of those were conducted after nine weeks of the pregnancy.
“Abortion is an assault on the family. Abortion is an assault on Ohio because it destroys the hearts and minds of women,” said state Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, according to Dayton Daily News.