Ohio Governor Signs Heartbeat Bill

The ACLU and other organizations expect to challenge the new law in court.

(Columbus, Ohio)  --  Ohio now has one of the nation's most-restrictive abortion laws, but a legal challenge likely awaits. 

Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 23, the so-called "Heartbeat Bill", on Thursday, blocking any abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.  

"The signing of this bill today is consistent with that respect for life and the imperative to protect those who cannot protect themselves," DeWine said.

In most pregnancies, a fetal heartbeat can be detected in as little as five or six weeks.

The bill allows an exception to save the life of the mother but no exception for incest or rape. 

The ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, and the Women’s Med Center of Dayton are planning to challenge the law in court.

“This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight to the bitter end to ensure that this bill is permanently blocked. SB 23 is one of the most aggressive, oppressive, and radical attacks against women ever seen in this state and this country. A nearly identical bill in Kentucky was just struck down by a federal judge – we feel confident our impending litigation will ultimately prevail,” said Freda Levenson, Legal Director at the ACLU Of Ohio.

Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis thanked DeWine for making good on a campaign promise to sign the bill. 

"Ohio Right to Life thanks our legislative and statewide pro-life leaders for prioritizing this important legislation," he said.

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