After years of vetoes by former Gov. John Kasich, current Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has officially signed his state’s recently-passed “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Echoing another law recently passed in Georgia, the new Ohio bill would outlaw abortions after about 6 weeks, when an unborn baby’s distinct heartbeat can be picked up on an ultrasound. The state legislature had already passed the bill twice before, only to have it vetoed by Kasich.
DeWine, on the other hand, signed the heartbeat bill Thursday, just one day after the bill passed the state legislature.
It’s unlikely that the bill will go into affect anytime soon, as the ACLU has already promised to sue on behalf of four Ohio abortion clinics, claiming that banning the abortion of babies with heartbeats violates a woman’s constitutional “right to choose” under Roe v. Wade. Similar laws passed by other states have also gotten hung up in litigation.
But putting this one law into effect isn’t really the point. Like many other pro-life legislation being pushed in other Republican-led states (like this one passed in North Dakota just this week), the stated goal of the “heartbeat bill” is to ultimately force a path to the Supreme Court to challenge the nearly 50-year-old Roe decision.
"The heartbeat bill is the next incremental step in our strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade," said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. "While other states embrace radical legislation to legalize abortion on demand through the ninth month of pregnancy, Ohio has drawn a line and continues to advance protections for unborn babies."