Ohio House passes fetal heartbeat abortion bill

The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed an abortion bill that would ban terminations after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The state’s Republican dominated House voted 65-30 in favour of the proposed law, and a similar result is expected in the senate later this year.

The bill would make performing an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison or a $2500 fine.

The state’s governor-elect Mike DeWine is in favour of the legislation; outgoing governor John Kasich is said to oppose it.

Abortion advocates have condemned the House’s move, saying that the bill represents an attack on abortion rights in the United States. Dr. Sarah Horvath, a family planning fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the decision about whether to have an abortion should be between a woman and her doctor.

“Every situation truly is unique and every time I think that I’ve heard it all, I have a patient come in and just surprise me by the circumstances of her needing care”.

Republican representative Christina Hagan, who sponsored the proposed law, said that the bill had been designed specifically as a challenge to Roe versus Wade.

“We believe Ohio is best positioned to send this through the Circuit Courts and to the federal Supreme Court,” said Ms. Hagan.

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