JAX PREYER — On Thursday, April 11 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a piece of legislation known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, typically around six weeks into pregnancy. This is usually before most women will realize they are pregnant. Exceptions in the bill are made in the case of the mother being in physical danger but not for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. The Heartbeat Bill has a complicated history in Ohio, first being introduced to the state legislature in 2011 and gaining initial support but eventual veto from then-Governor John Kasich. However, Ohio is no stranger to abortion restrictions, with 21 laws regarding abortion and reproductive health access signed during Kasich’s time as Governor.
Without a court challenge, the bill would take effect on July 11. However, the bill is expected to face legal pushback, with the ACLU of Ohio promising to sue mere hours after the law was signed. In a statement available on the ACLU of Ohio’s website, Legal Director Freda Levenson says:
“This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight to the bitter end to ensure that this bill is permanently blocked. SB 23 is one of the most aggressive, oppressive, and radical attacks against women ever seen in this state and this country. A nearly identical bill in Kentucky was just struck down by a federal judge – we feel confident our impending litigation will ultimately prevail.”