Ohio adopting some of the countryâ€™s toughest abortion laws. The Heartbeat Bill, approved Tuesday in the Ohio Senate, plans to ban the use of abortion services from the moment the heartbeat of the fetus is heard the first time - which usually occurs in the sixth week of pregnancy.
The Heartbeat Bill does not provide for any waivers, even in case of rape or incest.
This controversial bill was proposed in the wake of Donald Trumpâ€™s victory. The president, who defends a “pro-life” stance, has promised to appoint Conservative judges to the Supreme Court.
The advocates of the Heartbeat Bill believe that this combination of factors could favor them if the project, which has already been rejected by the Senate in the past, is challenged in court.
For example, Ohio Senate Speaker Keith Faber argues that it was these elements that encouraged his caucus to resubmit the project to the Republican-dominated upper house.
A new president, new appointments to the Supreme Court … that changes the dynamics. There was consensus in our caucus to move forward.
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber.
Now that the bill has been approved in the Senate, it must be reviewed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has a veto to block it. The governor must, however, decide within 10 days.
In the event that John Kasich - a moderate Republican on social issues - uses his veto, elected officials in both Ohio chambers may try to overturn it in an extra vote.
If John Kasich endorsed the project, or if he did not enforce his veto over the next 10 days, the “Heartbeat Bill” would become law early next year.
Opponents of the bill have already indicated that they would take the courts. This is particularly the case of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, a non-governmental organization defending human rights.
At least two other US states - Arkansas and North Dakota - have tried to pass similar laws based on the first heartbeats. However, they did not survive the federal court test, which ruled them unconstitutional.
Melissa Marner is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years under her belt. While studying journalism at Boston, Melissa found a passion for finding local stories. As a contributor to Cleveland Post Gazette, Melissa mostly covers human interest pieces.