Ohio lawmakers vote to ban late-term abortion procedure

The Ohio House on Thursday voted 62-27 to outlaw abortions performed by dilation and evacuation, a procedure commonly used to terminate pregnancies between 13 and 24 weeks gestation.

Senators quickly agreed to House changes, setting up the bill to be delivered to Gov. John Kasich for consideration.

In 2017, 3,441 D&E abortions were performed in Ohio, according to state records.

It marked the second abortion restriction bill approved by lawmakers in two days.

Explore RELATED: Heartbeat abortion bill passes Ohio Senate

Earlier this week, the Ohio Senate voted 18-13 in favor of House Bill 258, which would prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound or other technology. A heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks gestation, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant. The measure does not include an exemption for victims of rape or incest.

The House agreed to Senate changes in that bill late Thursday.

It is unclear whether Gov. John Kasich will sign or veto the two bills.

In his eight years as governor, Kasich has signed more than a dozen abortion restrictions into law, including making it a crime for doctors to perform abortions if the woman wants to terminate because the fetus may have Down syndrome; banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation; mandating that clinics have transfer agreements with local hospitals in case of emergencies; imposing stricter standards for juveniles seeking a judicial bypass instead of parental consent to terminate their pregnancies; and prohibiting public hospitals performing abortions or holding transfer agreements.

The only abortion bill he has vetoed was a fetal heartbeat bill in December 2016.

It is also unclear whether lawmakers could muster 60 votes in the House and 20 in the Senate needed to override a veto, especially since it would require them to return to Columbus after Christmas.

Governor-elect Mike DeWine has said he would sign a so-called heartbeat abortion ban bill into law.

Last year, there were 20,893 induced abortions in Ohio, a 1-percent increase over 2016. Nearly 12,000 of the abortions were terminated before nine weeks gestation, according to state data. Overall, the number of abortions has steadily declined over the past two decades.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Roe v Wade that women have the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. It gave the state the power to regulate abortion to protect the health of the mother and that authority increased as a pregnancy progressed. Once a fetus is viable outside the womb, the state has an interest in protecting that potential life with restrictions on abortions.

Here is how Miami Valley lawmakers voted on Senate Bill 145, which bans D&E abortions: Yes — Niraj Antani, Jim Butler, Tom Brinkman, Keith Faber, Mike Henne, Steve Huffman, Kyle Koehler, George Lang, Scott Lipps, Rick Perales, Wes Retherford and Paul Zeltwanger. No — Fred Strahorn.

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