Ohio Considers 'Heartbeat' Abortion Law

Move could outlaw procedure in as little as 18 days

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2011 1:49 PM CST

(Newser) – Ohio lawmakers will introduce a bill today that would make it illegal to perform an abortion in the state once a fetus develops a heartbeat—something that can happen within 18 days of conception. The bill, which would be the harshest abortion restriction in the country, already has support from 42 of the state’s 99 House members, according to WKYC. But even pro-life lawyers doubt the bill, if passed, could survive a court challenge.

The bill was co-created by the pro-life Faith2Action group, which intends to introduce it in other states as well, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We are Ground Zero of what I believe will transform the pro-life movement,” the group’s president said. Pro-choice groups are aghast. “Most women don’t know they are pregnant at that point,” said a spokesman for NARAL. Ohio lawmakers have introduced four other abortion bills in recent days as well, including a late-term abortion ban, and stricter parental consent rules.

A fetus is shown in the first trimester in this file photo.
A fetus is shown in the first trimester in this file photo.   (Shutterstock)
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