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Ohio Senate passes controversial abortion bill

This photo taken Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 shows an image of a three-month-old fetus during a sonogram scan for "Nancy" Yin at a clinic run by Marie Stopes International in Xi'an in central China's Shaanxi province. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Ohio's state Senate has approved a law banning abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Heartbeats are usually detected around six weeks into a pregnancy.

If the "heartbeat bill" becomes Ohio law, it would end up being one of the strictest abortions laws in the entire county. Other states have gone through costly legal battles when attempting to implement similar legislation, and skeptics of the law worry Ohio will go down the same road. Many pro-choice supporters also believe it will be found unconstitutional if it does become law.

Republicans currently control the Ohio House of Representatives, with 65 Republicans compared to 34 Democrats. The House had previously approved other versions of the bill that failed to gain traction in the Senate.

Current Ohio law states that an abortion cannot be performed the fetus is viable, which requires viability testing.

A number of abortion regulations were struck down nationwide in a 5-3 Supreme Court ruling that many considered to be a surprise. Unless at least two more pro-life justices are placed on the Supreme Court, the ultimate fate of this law would seem to be in doubt, even if it is signed into law.

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