Heart Beat Bill In The Waiting Room
The Short of It:
Ohio lawmakers passed one of the country's strictest abortion bills earlier this week.
The Longer Version of It:
The 'heartbeat' bill works to ban abortions in the state as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be heard. The law applies to cases of rape or incest. A heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women even realize they're pregnant. Reminder: the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to an abortion, but also gave states some room to regulate abortion in the later stages of pregnancy, between about 24 and 28 weeks. FYI: Six weeks and 24 weeks is not the same thing.
Governor John Kasich, who ran in 2016, still has to sign off and give the go ahead. If he doesn't do anything within 10 days, it will automatically become law. In the past, he's said he's pro-life but would be OK with abortion in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is at risk. TBD on whether he gives this a thumbs up.
Supporters of the bill have been attempting to get the bill passed for years. Now, with a Republican-controlled White House, Congress, and probably soon the Supreme Court it's likely they'll find political scales on their side.