Ohio House passes "Heartbeat Bill" restricting abortion after detection of fetal heartbeat

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By a vote of 59 to 35, the Ohio House of Representatives once again passed the "Heartbeat Bill."

The bill, considered by among the most restrictive abortion bills in the country, would ban abortion at the first detectable fetal heartbeat. That could come within the first six weeks of pregnancy.

Before the vote, there were intensely personal pleas from lawmakers on both sides of this issue, some talking about their own families' struggles with family planning, pregnancy, and miscarriage.

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Opponents called the bill too extreme, noting that it makes no exception in cases of rape or incest.

The only exception it allows is where the pregnancy could risk the life of the mother or would cause the mother "a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."

"This is determining the life of a human being, the pain of a human being. Lives that we created," said Representative Candice Keller. "Abortion is an assault on the family. It is an assault on Ohio because it destroys the minds and hearts of women everywhere."

"Becoming a mother, and specifically becoming a mother to a daughter, has only increased my resolve about how important it is to allow women to be able to control when they enter motherhood," said Representative Kristin Boggs. "Motherhood should never be forced upon anyone."

This same bill was passed in 2016 and was vetoed by Governor Kasich, who called it unconstitutional.

Sponsor Christina Hagan points out a lot has changed since 2016 and says she's ready for a court challenge.

"I campaigned on behalf of President Trump and part of that reason was to ensure that we had a constitution-respecting Supreme Court when appointments became available. That is now the case. And we have more favor and opportunity than ever for that extension of protection to be given to children in the womb."

Republican lawmakers in both houses have enough members to override a veto from the Governor if they so choose.

The bill would first have to be voted on in the Senate, something Senate leaders have not yet decided on.

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