Heartbeat Bill Passes Ohio Senate

/ National

By Petra Wallenmeyer

An amended version of the Ohio House Bill 258 passed the Ohio Senate today— mostly along party lines— 18-13.

Section 2919.192 originally gave the director of health authority to adopt specific rules to find a fetal heartbeat which would be “based on standard medical practice” but only required an external exam (transabdominal ultrasound).

However, the amended rules go on to specifically state, “Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a transvaginal ultrasound.”

Chairman of the Health, Human Services and Medicaid Senate Committee said, “We found that (a transvaginal ultrasound) process is possibly intrusive and we wanted to protect the rights of women who didn’t wish to have that done to them.”

This also effectively gets rid of the “6-week ban” many pro-abortion protesters discussed, since a transabdominal ultrasound’s limits of detection are around 7 weeks’ gestational age. However, this amendment does not mean a transvaginal ultrasound cannot be used, just that it cannot be the required method of detection.

The second amendment, found much further on in the bill, makes an additional penalty possible for abortionists who perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The secretary of the state medical board and a supervising member can now recommend to the medical board— without a prior hearing— the suspension of a medical license of an abortionist if they have cause to believe the abortionist committed an abortion after a fetal heartbeat was detected and if they believe the abortionist’s “continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.”

The bill now has to go back to the House for the amendments to be approved. If approved, the bill will head to the Governor’s desk.

Heartbeat Bill Passes Ohio Senate
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