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Pro-life 'heartbeat' bill heads to Ohio governor, who has promised to sign it after former Gov. Kasich vetoed it twice

The bill will ban abortions as early as six weeks

BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

A pro-life bill that would prevent abortions as early as six weeks is headed to Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who has promised to sign it into law.

What are the details?

The bill passed the Ohio General Assembly 56-40, and the Ohio state Senate 30-18.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, vetoed similar legislation twice. Kasich did sign another bill, which banned abortions after 20 weeks, with an exception for the life of the mother.

Under this new law, doctors would be required to perform abdominal or transvaginal ultrasounds before performing an abortion. If they fail to do this, or perform an abortion even if a heartbeat is detected, they could face up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

There is no legal penalty for women, and there is an exception for the health of the mother. It does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

According to Cleveland.com, in order to use this exception, women would have to sign a consent form that says: "the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying has a fetal heartbeat and that the pregnant woman is aware of the statistical probability of bringing the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying to term."

What else?

"This is not a Democratic or Republican issue," Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller said, according to Cleveland.com. Keller also runs a crisis pregnancy center. "This is not a religious issue. This is an issue of humanity and morality."

Critics of the bill protested that it would lead to back-alley abortions, and that some women may not know that they're pregnant before six weeks.

Democratic state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan said that she was "concerned that we will have companies that will choose not to locate here due to our oppressive laws" and that doctors would leave the state.

According to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, 22,730 abortions were performed in Ohio in 2014.

One last thing…
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