Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill banning abortions in the presence of a fetal heartbeat Thursday.
His signature comes after the state House passed the bill Wednesday in a 56-39 vote, shortly after which the state Senate voted 18-13 to approve House changes to the bill, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Physicians could face fines of up to $20,000 if they violate the law. A heartbeat usually becomes detectable between six and nine weeks in pregnancy, sometimes sooner.
Pro-life groups also applauded the bill’s passage.
— Ohio Right to Life (@ohiolife) April 11, 2019
— Jackie Borchardt (@JMBorchardt) April 11, 2019
— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) April 11, 2019
Republican state Rep. Candice Keller called the legislation “the most compassionate bill we’ve ever passed,” The Associated Press reported.
“You’re going to be doing more procedures and subjecting women to more procedures and medications to get abortions, because they’re rushing between that four and five weeks to get it accomplished,” said Dr. Michael Cackovic of Ohio State University Medical Center, according to the AP.
Democratic state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan expressed concern over the bill.
“I’m concerned that we will have companies that will choose not to locate here due to our oppressive laws. I’m concerned that doctors will leave the state of Ohio,” she said.
Former Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar bills in 2016 and 2018.
“Gov. Mike DeWine is the strongest pro-life governor in the nation. With a stroke of a pen, he’s saved countless lives in the state of Ohio,” Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer said in a statement. CCV is a pro-life group that advocates for public policy reflecting the truth of the Gospel, according to its Twitter.
Heartbeat bills are spreading across our nation!
Share the fantastic news! pic.twitter.com/1542kqH1Xc
— Live Action (@LiveAction) April 8, 2019
Arkansas, North Dakota, Iowa, Mississippi and Kentucky have proposed bills or enacted laws outlawing abortion in the presence of a fetal heartbeat. Many of the abortion bans, however, have remained ineffective following court orders prohibiting enforcement, Cleveland.com reported.