Today, by a vote of 58-35, the Ohio House passed an abortion bill which the Cincinnati Enquirer says “would effectively ban abortions after the first six weeks of a woman’s pregnancy by penalizing doctors who perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.” The Republican majority in the House passed the bill knowing the risks: Governor John Kasich, a Republican who vetoed the previous Heartbeat Bill that made it to his desk, could very well veto it again if it comes up before he leaves office… or the state Senate could refuse to take up the bill at all.
However, if the Senate does end up taking up the abortion legislation and it passes, the Enquirer notes, “To override a Kasich veto, the Ohio House would need 60 votes – two more than the 58 who supported the proposal Thursday.” This could be a challenge, because seven Republicans reportedly voted against the Heartbeat Bill in the House: “Reps. Marlene Anielski and Nathan Manning from Northeast Ohio; Rick Carfagna, Mike Duffey, Anne Gonzales, and Scott Ryan from Central Ohio and Steve Arndt of Port Clinton.”
A lone Democrat, Rep. Bill Patmon of Cleveland, crossed party lines to vote in favor of the bill.
However, incoming Governor-Elect Mike DeWine has a 0% rating from NARAL and seems less likely to veto, should the bill make it to his desk after he assumes office in January 2019.
House Democrats wanted to add items to it, such as “requiring comprehensive sex education in schools [and] providing access to contraception.” In addition, Democrats were hoping to make it so that abortionists who might break this law, if passed, would have no criminal penalties.
The Enquirer states the Heartbeat bill contains no exceptions for rape or incest, but would allow abortion to save a woman’s life or prevent “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
By six weeks gestation, according to The Endowment for Human Development, “a portion of the brain called the cerebral cortex appears,” and the heart has been beating for at least three weeks, beginning between days 16 and 21.
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