Ohio lawmakers passed one of the nation’s strongest pro-life abortion bills Wednesday afternoon.
If signed into law, Senate Bill 23 would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Additionally, doctors who perform abortions after that time frame would face a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to a year in prison.
The bill passed the state’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives, 56-40.
“Americans and Ohioans have been waiting for this bill,” said Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown. “They agree that a child is a child when their heart is beating. … This is the most compassionate bill we’ve ever passed.”
The Ohio House made some changes to the version of the bill the Senate passed last month, including increasing the fine that the state medical board could impose on physicians who perform these abortions to $20,000.
The Ohio Senate will need to approve the House’s revisions before sending the bill to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk. The Republican governor, who took office in January, has already said he will sign the bill, after former GOP Gov. John Kasich vetoed it twice.
*Update: Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law on Thursday, April 11.