OH governor signs ban on abortion after first heartbeat

OH governor signs ban on abortion after first heartbeat

OH governor signs ban on abortion after first heartbeat

Mike DeWine signed the state's so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill, enshrining into law one of the country's most restrictive abortion bans.

The ACLU of OH announced earlier Thursday it is ready to slap the state with a lawsuit after the bill is signed, saying similar legislation has been found unconstitutional in every state where it's been challenged.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine followed through Thursday on his pledge to sign the heartbeat bill.

DeWine's signature makes OH the fifth state to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

Even before the bill was signed, the ACLU of OH said it was preparing a constitutional challenge to the law on behalf of Pre-Term Cleveland and three other OH abortion clinics.

Pro-life advocates want to challenge the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, and they consider the heartbeat bill a step toward the larger goal.

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Kellie Copeland, director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said lawmakers and the governor have plunged the state into "a dystopian nightmare where people are forced to continue pregnancies regardless of the harm that may come to them or their family". The only exceptions will be if the woman's life is in danger, but not in cases of rape or incest.

"The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us", DeWine said before signing the bill. The full House approved it Wednesday and, that same day, the Senate agreed to House changes and sent it to DeWine.

Democratic state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan expressed concern over the bill.

Republican state Rep. Candice Keller called the legislation "the most compassionate bill we've ever passed", The Associated Press reported.

"It was created to oppress women", the organization said.

"The ACLU will argue that the banning of abortion at six weeks, or with the detection of a fetal heartbeat, is a direct violation of the Constitution and a complete undermining of Roe v. Wade", the ACLU wrote.

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