ACLU files lawsuit challenging Ohio 'heartbeat' abortion law

ACLU files lawsuit challenging Ohio 'heartbeat' abortion law
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging an Ohio law that would ban most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. 

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill into law last month banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs six weeks after a woman becomes pregnant. The law has no exemptions for rape or incest. 

"Simply put, the Ohio law we're challenging today flies in the face of the Constitution," said Elizabeth Watson, staff attorney for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. 

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The ACLU of Ohio and Planned Parenthood joined the ACLU in filing the lawsuit. 

Similar laws have passed this year in Mississippi and Georgia, while another in Kentucky was blocked in court earlier this year. 
 
Abortion rights groups say such laws are aimed at forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision protecting abortion rights. 
 
“This assault on reproductive rights has been anticipated, and we’ve been preparing and perfecting our case. ‘Total ban’ is not inflammatory rhetoric — this is a ban on almost all abortions, and if the court does not block it, it will imperil the freedoms and health of Ohio women,” said Freda Levenson, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio. 
 
“The law of the land has been crystal clear for nearly 50 years: women have a categorical right to a pre-viability abortion.”

--Updated at 11:35 a.m.