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Ohio 'heartbeat bill' supporters holding out hope

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Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 22:00:39-04

CINCINNATI — Supporters are holding out hope that the controversial "heartbeat bill" limiting abortions will still go into effect in Ohio.

The bill was supposed to take effect in one week, but a federal judge in Cincinnati stopped that.

"Basically, what he's saying is that this is an undue burden for women," said Meg Wittman, executive director of Right To Life of Greater Cincinnati.

The bill would fine and possibly imprison doctors for up to one year for performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

In response to a lawsuit by the ACLU, Judge Michael Barrett said the bill would put an end to abortions around six weeks of pregnancy, effectively prohibiting "almost all abortion care in Ohio." Barrett's 12-page ruling went on to say that many women are unaware they are pregnant at six weeks and noted logistical obstacles in obtaining an abortion that quickly.

Wittman said the injunction did not come as a surprise. She said it's all part of the process to get the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade.

"What our goal is is to establish that the unborn child is a living human being and it is certainly not a burden to protect or preserve the life of the unborn," Wittman said.

Wittman is confident the bill will go into effect eventually.

Speaking in May, Planned Parenthood's Kersha Deibel called the bill "dangerous."

"It absolutely creates more opportunities for people to do self induced abortions which leads to potential death," said Deibel, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio.

In a new statement, Planned Parenthood said "Politicians have no right to dictate personal medical decisions and we will not stand for it."