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Ohio 'heartbeat' abortion ban moves closer to becoming law

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 13, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Republican-led Ohio Senate has again passed a measure to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The 19-13 vote Wednesday sends the so-called heartbeat bill to the Republican-controlled House. GOP Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he'd sign such a ban.

It would be among the most restrictive abortion measures in the country. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.

Similar measures approved by Ohio lawmakers were twice vetoed by DeWine's predecessor, GOP Gov. John Kasich, who said enacting the heartbeat bill would prompt a costly court battle and it would likely be found unconstitutional.

The bill includes an exemption if a mother's life is at risk, but no exemption for cases involving rape or incest.