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Ohio Senate Passes Pro-life Heartbeat Bill Identical to One Vetoed by Kasich Last Year; Gov. DeWine in Favor

Calvin Freiburger : Mar 15, 2019 : LifeSiteNews.com

The Ohio House is all but certain to send the bill to DeWine's desk. It passed overwhelmingly in the previous session, and the House currently has 60 Republicans to 38 Democrats.

airlift[LifeSiteNews.com] The Ohio Senate voted Wednesday to pass legislation that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, moving the long-awaited measure one step closer to finally becoming law. (Image: Pixabay)

Senate Bill 23 is virtually identical to legislation unsuccessfully pushed last year, which would ban aborting any baby with a detectable heartbeat, except in cases of a physical threat to the mother. Preborn babies' heartbeats can be detected around six weeks into pregnancy; violating physicians would face up to a year in prison.

The bill passed the chamber on a 19-13 vote, Cleveland.com reports. It followed an 8-4 vote from the Senate Health Committee the day before, during which Democrat state Sen. Nickie Antonio tried and failed to add rape and incest exceptions.

During the floor debate the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Kristina Roegner, criticized the US Supreme Court's "viability" standard for abortion's permissibility as a "moving target" subject to change based on medical advancements or the healthcare available to a particular woman, rather than any innate characteristics of the preborn child.

"We need a new standard," she argued. "The heartbeat bill provides a sensible solution."

The vote fell mostly along party lines, though GOP state Sens. John Eklund, Matt Dolan, Nathan Manning, and Stephanie Kunze joined Democrats in opposing it. Eklund declared he couldn't support it without rape or incest exceptions, because while in "every case" of abortion "the victim is innocent," rape and incest leaves two victims and a "dilemma" he was "not altogether sure the legislature should be making for that mother."

"How a human is conceived doesn't make it any more or less human," Roegner argued in response to calls for rape or incest exceptions.

Last December, the legislature came one vote short of overriding a veto by former Gov. John Kasich, who claimed the heartbeat bill was "contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States' current rulings on abortion" and therefore wouldn't be worth the cost of a drawn-out legal battle. Many pro-lifers note that nearly every pro-life law, no matter how modest, results in a legal battle... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

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