September 2, 2014

Elyria
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Ohio Senate puts end to ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill

COLUMBUS — An Ohio bill that would have imposed the most stringent restriction on abortions in the nation has met its end.

Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus said Tuesday that senators don’t plan to vote on the so-called “heartbeat bill” before the legislative session ends next month.

The bill proposed banning abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. It fiercely divided Ohio’s anti-abortion community, while energizing abortion rights proponents who opposed it.

Backers hoped it would provoke a legal challenge with the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.