Ohio Lawmakers Pass Two Abortion Bills in One Week

(CN) – Two days after passing a controversial “heartbeat” abortion bill, the Ohio Legislature on Thursday approved a ban on abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy.

For the second time this week, the state’s General Assembly sent an abortion restriction to Gov. John Kasich. On Tuesday, the Ohio House of Representatives approved a ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected.

Kasich has 10 days to approve the 20-week ban, and the heartbeat bill is also still awaiting his signature.

The Ohio House passed the 20-week ban, Senate Bill 127, with a vote of 64-29 on Thursday. The Ohio Senate approved the bill later in the day.

Ohio Right to Life tweeted news of the passage of what it called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, using the hashtag “#theyfeelpain.”

“When enacted, this legislation will immediately begin saving hundreds of babies throughout Ohio and be part of a national movement that will save thousands of lives,” Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said in a statement.

Amendments that would have included exceptions for incest, rape and fetal anomalies were defeated before SB 127 was passed.

“Rape and incest are heinous acts that should be penalized criminally. Why should we penalize the baby?” asked Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville.

The only exception in either abortion bills passed this week is to save the life of the mother.

Similar abortion restrictions in other states have been struck down in court, and the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the heartbeat bill “unconstitutional” and tweeted that it would sue if it becomes law.

Ohio law currently bans abortion when a fetus is viable outside the womb, which can be in the 24 to 26-week range.

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