Ohio lawmakers pass controversial 'heartbeat' abortion bill

Ohio lawmakers pass controversial 'heartbeat' abortion bill

Ohio lawmakers on Thursday passed controversial legislation that aims to block women from getting an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Thursday's 58-35 vote marked the second consecutive session in which the House passed the bill. It passed the House and Senate in December 2016, but was vetoed by GOP Gov. John Kasich.

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“The point is, it’s time. It doesn’t matter if the governor is with us or against us,” one of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Christina Hagan (R), said. Governor-elect Mike DeWine (R) has said he would sign a so-called “heartbeat” bill, the paper notes.

The bill, which would effectively prevent an abortion after six or seven weeks of pregnancy, does not grant exceptions in the event of rape or incest, the paper reported.

Under the legislation, any doctor violating the bill could face fifth-degree felony charges, which carry up to one year in prison.

The bill is now on its way to the Ohio Senate, where it would need 60 votes to override a potential veto, according to the newspaper.

Earlier this year, Iowa lawmakers similarly voted to pass legislation seeking to prohibit any abortion after a heartbeat is detected.

Nineteen states adopted a total of 63 restrictions to abortion last year, the highest number since 2013, according to the Guttmacher Institute.