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Ohio state lawmakers have passed a controversial measure that would prohibit women from having abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected (which usually occurs about six weeks into pregnancy). House Bill 69––the "Heartbeat Bill" which would make an exception in the event the mother's life is in danger but no exception in cases of rape or incest––now heads to the desk of Governor John Kasich for his signature. The bill, should it pass, would be one of the toughest restrictions on abortion nationwide.

The Ohio Legislature sent the bill to Kasich's desk on Tuesday after considerable legislative maneuvering. Republican legislators added the bill's language last minute to House Bill 493, a bill revising state child abuse and neglect laws. The Senate voted twice: First, they approved 20-11 the decision to include the "Heartbeat Bill" language in HB493. Senators then passed the bill with a 21-10 vote after they approved the amendment. Once the bill went back into the House, senators approved the revised bill 56-39. In a statement, Senator Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) said "we are a pro-life caucus" and signaled that passing the legislation "demonstrates our commitment to protecting the children of Ohio at every stage of life."

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