“Heartbeat Bill” Heads to Ohio Senate Committee

Last week we reported that Janet Porter said she had the votes in the Ohio State Senate to pass her extreme anti-choice Heartbeat bill, which already passed in the House, and today the Senate President said he will send Porter’s legislation to Senate’s Health, Human Services and Aging Committee. Porter, who heads Faith 2 Action, helped spearhead a new group called Ohio ProLife Action to advocate for the bill after the Ohio Right to Life Society refused to support the clearly unconstitutional measure. Governor John Kasich, an anti-choice Republican, has yet to announce his view on the Heartbeat bill.

Aaron Marshall of The Plain Dealer reports:

Ohio Senate Republicans, under pressure from an anti-abortion group to act, will move a bill that bans abortions in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, says Senate President Tom Niehaus.

The New Richmond Republican said this week that a four-month Senate impasse on the so-called “heartbeat” legislation has broken, and his caucus is prepared to move forward with committee hearings and eventual passage of the legislation. If the heartbeat bill becomes law and withstands any legal challenges, Ohio would have the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

“I expect the bill will be moving to committee for deliberation,” said Niehaus.

He said the intent would be to eventually move the bill to the floor for passage, although he couldn’t say exactly what the timetable would be. The Senate is dominated by Republicans, who hold a 23-10 majority, and the GOP caucus is solidly anti-abortion rights.

Rob Nichols, spokesman for Gov. John Kasich, said the Republican governor “has been consistently pro-life all of his public life” but doesn’t generally take a position on bills that haven’t reached his desk.