heartbeat bill

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle / Ohio Public Radio

One of the Ohio Statehouse’s most notable moments this year was the passage of the controversial “Heartbeat Bill.” The controversial abortion restriction been proposed for years but never signed into law – until 2019.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks before signing his first executive action alongside his wife Fran, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Cedarville, Ohio. The former U.S. senator took his oath in a private midnight ceremony at his Cedarville home.
John Minchillo / AP

One of the first big pieces of legislation Mike DeWine signed as Ohio governor was a six-week abortion ban known as the "Heartbeat Bill." Almost a year into his tenure, DeWine said that law is only part of an overall agenda he’s pushing.

Democratic Representative Stephanie Howse.
Ohio House

State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) says her recent trip to El Salvador is strengthening her resolve to fight abortion bans in Ohio.

Abortion protesters at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

A new report shows that 20,425 abortions were performed in Ohio in 2018, slightly fewer than in the year before. Supporters and opponents of legal abortion disagree on the reason for the decline.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

The ACLU of Ohio is asking a federal court to permanently block Ohio's "heartbeat" abortion law, which bans abortions early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle / Ohio Public Radio

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows a majority of Ohioans support background checks for gun sales, favor legalized abortion and oppose the recently-passed “Heartbeat Bill.” 

Gov. Mike DeWine, center, speaks between Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, left, and Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder during the Ohio State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Ohio is operating on temporary funding since lawmakers failed to pass a new two-year state budget by the constitutionally-mandated June 30 deadline. The delay has Democrats wondering whether time spent on controversial abortion laws could have better used hammering out budget details.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Ohio's "heartbeat" abortion ban, following a lawsuit from the ACLU of Ohio. The bill was set to take effect July 10.

Updated at 3:39 p.m. ET

WarnerMedia, Walt Disney Co. and NBCUniversal will consider stopping productions in Georgia should the state's new abortion law take effect, echoing a threat made this week by Netflix.

WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, CNN and other channels, told NPR in a statement on Thursday, "We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions." The company said it operates in many states and countries where it may not agree with leaders' stances but respects due process.

The recent passage of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" has caused some confusion about the legality of abortion in Ohio. Gov. MIke DeWine signed the legislation into law last month, but it does not take effect until July. The ACLU and other organizations have sued, hoping to prevent the law from going into effect. Morning Edition host Amy Eddings spoke with Be Well Health reporter Marlene Harris-Taylor about the current realities of abortion access in Ohio.

Let's start with the facts about this new law. How does it does it work?

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle / Ohio Public Radio

Supporters of legal abortion rallied at the Ohio Statehouse and other state capitals throughout the nation on Tuesday. 

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Missouri's Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy or later, except in cases of medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

It's the latest in a series of sweeping abortion restrictions passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures aimed at pushing abortion challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Salter / Associated Press

ACLU of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging Ohio’s recent “heartbeat” abortion ban, which was signed into law last month.

Abortion protesters at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

A new Ohio bill would ban most private insurance coverage for abortions. Opponents say it would also ban effective methods of birth control.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed controversial legislation Tuesday that bans abortions in the state as soon as heartbeat activity is detectable, which typically occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy — before many women know they're pregnant.

At the signing ceremony, Kemp said he is grateful to those "throughout Georgia who refused to be silent on this issue, who rejected the status quo, who believe, as I do that every baby has a right to life."

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