Ohio legislators have passed a ban on abortions once an unborn child's heartbeat can be detected, citing the prospect of a more favourable Supreme Court as a result of the election of Donald Trump as president. Photo courtesy of Alexander Smith, Wikimedia Commons

Ohio lawmakers revive 'heartbeat abortion' ban

  • December 9, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Citing the prospect of a more favourable Supreme Court, Ohio legislators have passed a ban on abortions once an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.

The bill was previously defeated twice in the Republican-controlled legislature. However, State Senate President Keith Faber said the bill was revived given the prospect that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will appoint justices more likely to uphold restrictions on abortion.

“I think it has a better chance than it did before,” he said of the bill’s Supreme Court prospects, the Associated Press reports.

The ban on abortions after the baby’s heart begins to beat would apply as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The bill allows exceptions if the mother’s life is deemed to be in danger.

Janet Porter, president of bill supporter Faith2Action, praised the passage of the bill.

“We live in a State whose motto is with God all things are possible. That’s what just happened today,” she said, voicing hope that Gov. John Kasich will sign the bill into law.

Porter was optimistic the bill would survive legal challenges.

“I think we have a brand new day here in America and we’re going to see a brand new Supreme Court with pro-life justices,” she said. “By the time this law gets to the Supreme Court, I’m confident it will be upheld.”

Pro-abortion rights groups said they would challenge the bill, citing successful legal challenges to a North Dakota law.

(Story from the Catholic News Agency)

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