A new bill that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected has passed the Ohio Senate by an 18-13 vote. It was just last month that the Ohio House voted in favor of the bill, but the Senate made some changes. The bill will now have to be approved by the House again before the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, can sign it or veto it.
The Senate removed the mandate for transvaginal ultrasounds, which can pick up a heartbeat as early as six weeks. Now the bill merely requires abdominal ultrasounds, which some see as less invasive for women. “We found that (a transvaginal ultrasound) process is possibly intrusive and we wanted to protect the rights of women who didn’t wish to have that done to them,” Senate Health Committee Chairman Dave Burke said.
One study has found that abdominal ultrasounds can detect a heartbeat as early as seven weeks.
The Senate also moved to add that who provide abortions and violate the law could potentially have their licenses to practice medicine be suspended by the State Medical Board of Ohio, without first requiring a criminal conviction.
Governor Kasich has previously vetoed a heartbeat bill that passed through the state legislature, and has promised to do so again. His successor, Mike DeWine, has said that he would sign it, however.
With 60 votes, the Senate could overturn a veto from Kasich, or lawmakers could try to delay voting on the new version of the bill until the new year, when DeWine is sworn in as governor and Kasich has left office.
Ohio has become one of the most pro-life states in the country, banning abortions for a diagnosis of Down syndrome and banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
What do you think about this new bill in Ohio? Do you think other states will follow their lead?