© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ohio Senate Passes Heartbeat Bill

photo of Ohio Senate
Ohio Senators debate the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" March 13, 2019.

The Ohio Senate has passed the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” which bans an abortion when a viable heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. Republican leaders expect a possible legal challenge.

Pro-choice groups have said if the “Heartbeat Bill” is signed into law, they plan to challenge it in court. This would likely result in a pricey court battle that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said lawmakers don’t shy away from issues just because of the threat of litigation. “There are examples on this issue here in Ohio where the legislature has been bold and has taken a stand and ultimately, while we would’ve expected there to be litigation at some point, we came out victorious," Obhof said.

Obhof pointed to a ruling this week where a federal court sided with Ohio on defunding Planned Parenthood.

Opponents say this bill, sponsored by Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), infringes on women’s rights and health.

The vote was 19 in favor and 13 opposed. Those who voted against the legislation included four republicans. Among them, State Senators Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls, Gayle Manning of North Ridgeville, Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard and John Eklund of Chardon whose district includes parts of Lake, Geauga, and Portage Counties.  

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.