Heartbeat abortion bill moves step closer to Ohio Senate vote

The Senate Health Committee voted 8-4 in favor of the heartbeat abortion ban bill, setting it up for a possible floor vote on Wednesday.

The bill would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is as early as six weeks gestation before many women know they are pregnant.

This is the fifth legislative session that the bill has been debated and voted on. It was vetoed twice by Republican John Kasich.

PAST COVERAGE: Heartbeat bill passes Ohio House

New Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has said he would sign the bill into law.

The bill is strongly opposed by many Democrats and reproductive rights groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice.

In 2017, there were 20,893 induced abortions in Ohio, a 1-percent increase over 2016, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Health. Of those, 11,784 were performed at nine weeks or less of gestation, 6,084 at between nine and 12 weeks, 2,935 at 13 to 20 weeks and 90 at 21 weeks or more, the report showed.

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