Syndicated with permission of LifeNews.com
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the state heartbeat bill into law Thursday afternoon — making it the 6th state to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat begins.
“Government’s role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end,” DeWine said before signing the bill.
The heartbeat bill passed the state legislature Wednesday. It would prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Because many women do not even know they are pregnant at this early stage, the legislation could protect almost all unborn babies in Ohio if it goes into effect.
DeWine signed the bill Thursday despite threats by the American Civil Liberties Union to challenge it in court.
The pro-life governor made it clear in January that he would support a heartbeat bill. He told pro-lifers that the government’s job is to “take care of those who cannot take care of themselves,” including unborn babies.
DeWine acknowledged the likelihood of a lawsuit in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, but promised to fight for life anyway.
“Ultimately, this will work its way up to the United States Supreme Court. And they’ll make that decision,” DeWine said.
State lawmakers came close to passing similar pro-life legislation in 2016 and 2018, but then-Gov. John Kasich vetoed both bills.
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If upheld the new law could save thousands of unborn babies’ lives. The Ohio Department of Health reported 20,893 abortions in 2017 in the state.
However, abortion activists may succeed in blocking the law before the state can enforce it.
“This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight to the bitter end to ensure that this bill is permanently blocked,” said Freda Levenson with the ACLU of Ohio.
Kentucky also passed a heartbeat law this year, but a federal judge already has blocked it.
Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.
The Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider overturning Roe, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.