‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

(CN) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio condemned two proposed abortion restrictions making their way to Gov. John Kasich’s desk, including a controversial “heartbeat” bill.

The “heartbeat” provision of House Bill 493 and the post-20-week ban on abortions in Senate Bill 127 would “unconstitutionally restrict women’s access to women’s healthcare,” Ohio’s ACLU branch said Wednesday.

The group spoke out one day after the Senate approved an amendment to HB 493 that would ban abortions when a heartbeat is detected.

“Already, Ohio politicians have passed laws designed to close clinics and delay a woman who has made the decision to end a pregnancy,” Mike Brickner, ACLU Ohio’s senior policy director, said in a statement. “Now these same politicians are attempting to ban abortion outright, which would have a devastating effect on a woman who needs access to this care.”

If Gov. Kasich signs HB 493, Ohio would join Arkansas and North Dakota as states that have passed heartbeat bills.

However, the Eighth Circuit has ruled that the heartbeat bills in those two states are unconstitutional.

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber told reporters on Tuesday that the Senate moved forward with the heartbeat provision because President-elect Donald Trump could appoint a conservative justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“He’s changed the dynamic and there was a consensus in our caucus to move forward,” Faber said.

According to the ACLU, SB 127’s 20-week ban could also pass the Ohio House this week.

“Bans such as these only hurt women and their families and waste taxpayer dollars by defending laws that federal courts have routinely declared unconstitutional. Gov. Kasich should veto any bill that infringes on reproductive freedom,” Brickner said.