GOP-led Ohio budget panel adds abortion restriction

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Abortion providers in Ohio would have to inform pregnant women in writing about the presence of a fetal heartbeat before the procedure under a last-minute change being added to the state budget.

Providers could give the pregnant woman the option to view or hear the heartbeat.

The amendment added Tuesday by a Republican-dominated committee bans doctors from purposefully performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining the presence of a detectable fetal heartbeat unless there is a medical emergency

The change also would create criminal penalties for providers who fail to comply with the proposed "informed consent" rules.

Two Democrats on the six-member conference committee objected to the addition, contending there had been no hearings.

The committee planned to vote on proposed budget changes later Tuesday night.

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