Ohio legislators pass restrictive abortion bill, citing Trump victory

State senate president says twice-defeated heartbeat bill, which would be one of the countrys most prohibitive, came up again because of the election result

Ohio legislators passed a controversial bill to ban abortion from as early as six weeks into pregnancy, known as a heartbeat bill. The bill, which is on its way to the Republican governor, John Kasich, after passing the state house on Tuesday night, would be one of the countrys most stringent abortion restrictions.

It would prohibit most abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy after the first detectable heartbeat.

Kasich, an abortion-rights opponent, has previously voiced concerns about whether such a move would be constitutional. He has not said whether he plans to sign the measure.

The state senate president, Keith Faber, a Republican from Celina, said the twice-defeated bill came back up again because of Donald Trumps presidential victory and the expectation he would fill supreme court vacancies with justices who are more likely to uphold stricter abortion bans.

Asked if he expected the Ohio proposal to survive a legal challenge, Faber said: I think it has a better chance than it did before. The ban would make an exception if the mothers life were in danger but not in cases of rape or incest, he said.

Naral Pro-Choice Ohio said the move would block access to abortion before most women even know theyre pregnant.

Under the US supreme courts 1973 Roe v Wade ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion, states were permitted to restrict abortions after viability the point when the fetus has a reasonable chance of surviving under normal conditions outside the uterus.

The ruling offered no legal definition of viability, saying it could range from 24 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy.

Ohio House also heard testimony about a possible ban on abortions after 20 weeks on Wednesday morning, with a vote planned for late Wednesday.

Read more: www.theguardian.com