Ohio committee slated to vote on ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill

Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)
Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio legislative panel has scheduled a possible vote on a proposal to effectively ban abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, which can come as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Backers of the so-called “heartbeat bill” are trying to push the measure through for the third time in as many legislative sessions.

The effort follows two failed attempts at what would be one of the nation’s most stringent abortion restrictions, and one detractors fear would prompt costly litigation.

Last session, the bill failed on a House floor vote. A House committee has scheduled it for a possible vote Tuesday afternoon.

The measure had divided Ohio’s anti-abortion community, with Ohio Right to Life refusing to endorse it out of fear a court challenge could undo existing abortion restrictions.

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