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Federal Court Blocks Ohio's Heartbeat Bill

photo of Heartbeat Bill protestors
Protesters in Columbus demonstrate.

A federal court has blocked a highly controversial abortion ban from taking effect. The so called “Heartbeat Bill” law was set to take effect next week.

The law would have prevented doctors from performing abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected. That could be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Many women don’t know they are pregnant by that point.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett says the law is unconstitutional because it denies a woman’s access to abortion. Ohio is one of 12 states that have passed or considered the Heartbeat Bill. Courts have blocked similar bills in some of them and none are in effect.

David O’Neil with the Ohio Attorney General’s office says it will appeal the ruling.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.