Ohio moves closer to banning abortions after a heartbeat is detected

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The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to outlaw abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, the Columbus Dispatch reports. That is generally about six weeks into pregnancy.

The “Heartbeat Bill” makes no exceptions for victims or rape or incest — only to save the life of the mother.

“The bill would make if a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, for a physician to perform an abortion without checking for a fetal heartbeat or performing the procedure after it can be detected. The doctor also could face a civil lawsuit from the mother and disciplinary action,” the Dispatch reports.

It passed the Ohio Senate by a 21-10 vote Tuesday after being amended into an unrelated House-passed bill dealing with child abuse. It now returns to the House, according to the Dispatch.

“This is just flat out the right thing to do. It affords the most important liberty of all – the opportunity to live,” the Dispatch quoted Republican Sen. Kris Jordan as saying.

Arkansas and North Dakota have passed similar laws, but both are currently on hold after they were found to be unconstitutional.