OH lawmaker: Ban abortions after first fetal heartbeat - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

OH lawmaker: Ban abortions after first fetal heartbeat

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

By Cristy Gimbel - bio | email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A state lawmaker wants to outlaw getting an abortion after the fetus has its first detectable heartbeat.

Representative Lynn Wachtmann will unveil the so-called Heartbeat Bill on Wednesday.

Janet Folger Porter created the Heartbeat Bill. The president of Faith2Action said nearly half of Ohio's House of Representatives has signed on as co-sponsors.

However, not everyone is behind the legislation.

"We don't want to put our legislative focus and efforts on that. While it has good intentions, it won't save lives. That's the bottom line," said Ed Sitter, Executive Director for Toledo Right to Life.

The organization has drafted its own bill. It would outlaw abortions 20 weeks after conception.

Sitter said even if the Heartbeat Bill passes, it will get struck down by the courts.

Porter lobbied for the first partial birth abortion ban in Ohio decades ago.

"At that time, there were a lot of people that said, oh no, the courts might say no and they did, only to be reversed in the end," Porter said. "It is, I believe, the bill that will be the standard for the pro-life movement."

Yet Sitter and Porter both agree this is the time to get legislation passed.

"It's unprecedented. Never been a better time," Sitter said about the state's conservative majority.

Pro-choice groups said the bill will undoubtedly go to court because it is unconstitutional.

"At a time when Ohio is facing a crushing budget deficit, it's absolutely appalling that the sponsor of this legislation and his allies would plunge the state into years of costly litigation," said Kellie Copeland of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

The first detectable heartbeat can come as early as 18 days after conception. Copeland said most women will not even know they are pregnant by then.

Other states are looking to follow with similar bills, including Texas and Oklahoma.

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