UPDATE: U.S. judge blocks part of Ohio ban on abortion procedure

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - UPDATE: 4/19/19 10:20 A.M.

A federal judge has blocked part of an Ohio law that bans the abortion method of dilation and evacuation in most cases.

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati on Thursday ordered the state not to bring criminal charges against doctors who perform the procedure until the case can be litigated. Other parts of the law were allowed to proceed.

Barrett agreed with Planned Parenthood the law is likely to be declared unconstitutional because it places an undue burden on Ohio women.

D&E's are the most common second-trimester abortion procedure.

The judge said women don't have any legal abortion alternative at that stage in pregnancy that doesn't "layer risks on top of existing risks."

The ruling comes a week after a separate heartbeat abortion ban was signed into Ohio law.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 4/11/19

Ohio's governor has signed a bill imposing one of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine followed through Thursday on his pledge to sign the heartbeat bill. It cleared the state Legislature on Wednesday.

DeWine's signature makes Ohio the fifth state to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. That can come as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.

DeWine's support for the bill breaks with his predecessor. Former Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) twice vetoed it on grounds it was unconstitutional and would spark a costly court challenge.

Opponents in Ohio have already vowed to sue.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 04/10/19 4:20 p.m.

A bill banning abortions in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat is detected is headed to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said he plans to sign it. Opponents vow to sue.

The bill cleared its final hurdle Wednesday when the Ohio Senate agreed to House changes 18-13. The Ohio House had approved the measure 56-39 earlier in the day.

DeWine took office in January. Backers hope he will be true to his word and sign the bill twice vetoed by his predecessor, Republican John Kasich (KAY'-sik).

Ohio joins five other states that have passed such restrictive abortion measures. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even find out they're pregnant.

The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest.


UPDATE: 04/10/19 3:40 p.m.

The Republican-controlled Ohio House has again passed a measure to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The 56-39 vote Wednesday sends the heartbeat bill back to the Senate, which must agree to its changes. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he would sign such a ban.

Ohio would join five other states that have passed such restrictive abortion measures. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even find out they're pregnant.

Similar measures approved by Ohio lawmakers were twice vetoed by DeWine's predecessor, Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), who said enacting the heartbeat bill would prompt a costly court battle and it would likely be found unconstitutional.

The measure, aimed at sparking a challenge to Roe vs. Wade, appears poised to become law.


UPDATE: 04/10/19 12:22 p.m.

No topic seemed off limits as abortion-rights supporters in Ohio fought the latest - and perhaps last - battle over a twice-vetoed heartbeat abortion ban.

The measure, aimed at sparking a challenge to Roe vs. Wade, appears poised to become law.

After nearly 10 years of fighting, Democrats on Tuesday's House Health Committee shared tales of back alleys and coat hangers, the lessons of slavery, the book of Genesis. Advocates testified lawmakers would lose support from faith communities, doctors and young voters.

None of it budged a largely closed-mouthed GOP majority. Republicans appeared confident prohibiting pregnancy termination once a fetal heartbeat is detected is the best thing for the unborn, for women and for Ohio.

They dominated an 11-7 party-line vote that sent the bill to the full House Wednesday.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


ORIGINAL STORY: 04/09/19

A committee vote is scheduled in the Republican-led Ohio House on legislation to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected after the bill was altered to make heartbeat detection as easy as technologically possible.

Abortion rights groups have decried the latest version of the so-called "heartbeat bill" as effectively outlawing a procedure accessible to women under the U.S. Constitution.

The measure's backers seek to challenge the legal standard of viability established in the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

The House Health Committee planned a vote Tuesday on its version of the bill, which makes clear that transvaginal ultrasound isn't exempted from use in detecting a heartbeat. That's changed from the version the Ohio Senate approved last month.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has said he'd sign a heartbeat bill.



 
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