Heartbeat bill passes Ohio Senate and is on it's way to the Hous - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Heartbeat bill passes Ohio Senate and is on it's way to the House

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The state of Ohio could be looking to lay the groundwork for one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country.

It's Senate Bill 23, or what's commonly referred to as the Heartbeat Bill, and it would prohibit an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Ohio's had many restrictions placed on the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, but none as restrictive as this.

The highly controversial Heartbeat Bill passed the Republican-led Ohio Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 19 to 13.

Now it heads to the Ohio House where local state representative and Republican Don Manning tells 21 News he will vote in favor of it.

State representatives and Democrats Michele Lepore-Hagan and Mike O'Brien said they are adamantly against it and will vote no, and a group out of Cleveland agrees.

Kelly Freeman, a state field manager with the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws with offices in Cleveland and Columbus, said, "Well we'd really like to get it across that Ohioans don't support this legislation.  We've seen reports and results that seven out of 10 Americans support pro-choice legislation keeping abortion legal."

However, Freeman said they do anticipate that the Heartbeat Bill will pass out of the Ohio House. 

"Governor DeWine has said that he will sign it both on the campaign trail and since being in office.  So this is something that has been in the works since 2011.  So we've definitely heard a lot of concern.  That concern is kind of at a fever pitch right now because it is at most risk of actually passing and going into law," Freeman said.

Ohio's Heartbill Bill would ban abortions as early as six weeks when it's believed a heartbeat can be detected.

If someone performs an abortion when there is a fetal heartbeat or without determining there is a heartbeat they could be charged with a felony.  If convicted that person could be sentenced to six to 12 months in jail and up to $2500 fine.

Senate Bill 23 does provide exceptions if a woman is at risk of dying.

But "no" exceptions for cases of rape or incest.    

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown believes all human life is precious and should be protected.

Dave Schmidt is the director of the Office of Pro-Life, Marriage, and Family with the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown and said, "We would wholeheartedly applaud the bill and urge it's passage because if we can protect any additional children, we're happy to do so."
                         
Many on both sides of the issue feel this is a path for Republicans to overturn Roe vs. Wade because they believe there is a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, Democrats argue the issue will be tied up in court on the basis of whether it's constitutional. They say that's already happened in three other states.

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