Ohio Heartbeat Bill

Dec 13, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Senate passed The Human Heartbeat Protection Act, also known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” by a vote of 18 to 13 yesterday. HB 258 bans abortions on babies when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually within a few weeks of conception. Liberty Counsel has offered free legal defense once it is signed into law.

Prior to the floor vote, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee added two amendments to the bill. One amendment removed the mandate for transvaginal ultrasounds, which can pick up a heartbeat as early as six weeks, and instead simply requires abdominal ultrasounds.  Another amendment requires the suspension of a provider's license who violates the provision of the bill while a criminal case is pending.  Although the House already passed the bill with a veto-proof majority, they must now consider the two new amendments to the Senate version and vote again. If those amendments are accepted, the bill will be prepared and go to Governor Kasich's desk for a potential signature. 

In the state of the Ohio, the governor is given ten days to sign a bill into law, to veto a bill, or to do nothing, which means the bill goes into law without the governor's signature. Should Governor Kasich veto the “Heartbeat Bill,” the legislature can be called back into session before the end of the year to override the veto. Three-fifths of members in both chambers must vote to override a veto. That will require 60 of the 99 members in the House and 20 of the 33 members in the Senate.

“If the vilest criminal has human dignity that prevents cruel and unusual punishment, then how much more should laws protect an innocent unborn child from the most despicable form of torture and death,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “Ohio has an incredible opportunity to make the Heartbeat Bill become law and help make the womb a safe place again,” said Staver. 

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.