Ohio Senate approves controversial 'heartbeat bill'

The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved controversial legislation banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Associated Press reported that the measure, which would effectively ban abortions after the first few weeks of a woman's pregnancy, passed in the state’s Republican-controlled Senate with an 18-13 vote on Wednesday.

The bill will now return to the House with changes made by the Senate. The House passed the bill last month. 

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It passed the House and Senate in December 2016, but was vetoed by GOP Gov. John Kasich. 

According to AP, Ohio Gov.-elect Mike DeWine (R) has already said he would sign a so-called heartbeat bill.

Kasich has reportedly vowed to veto the bill again if the legislation makes it to his desk.

Earlier this year, Iowa lawmakers voted similarly 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.