Two new restrictive abortion laws have been passed, and are waiting for approval in Ohio.
Ohio legislators passed the Heartbeat Bill, a measure added to an unrelated child abuse bill. It states that abortion would become illegal after a heartbeat can be heard (at around 6 weeks), which is before most women realise they are pregnant. The Bill, which does not include exceptions for rape or incest, was approved in the Republican -controlled state House of Representatives and Senate.
Another piece of legislation was also passed that would ban abortion with no exceptions after 20 weeks. The limit in Ohio is currently 24 weeks.
Anti-abortion groups have been given new hope with Donald Trump’s victory. As well as the two Ohio bans, an Indiana lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would outlaw abortion completely in that state. Whereas this piece of legislation is unlikely to be passed, the 20-week ban in Ohio is very likely to become law.
The man who will approve or reject the Heartbeat Bill and the 20-week ban is Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and staunch opponent to abortion. If he now rejects the Heartbeat Bill, about which he has previously expressed doubts, but passes the 20-week ban, he might be able to retain his moderate image.
Kasich has also enacted laws which arguably restrict women’s rights to make decisions about their bodies. He has closed down eight abortion clinics in Ohio, and signed a bill that stops the state contracting any health services that performed abortions- in other words a way to defund Planned Parenthood.
He has not yet stated whether he will pass either bill, he has 10 days to decide.