The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country — one that would penalize doctors for performing an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected and pose a potential challenge to Roe v. Wade.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected by an ultrasound as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, a time during which most women are unaware they are pregnant.
Under the bill, approved Thursday by a vote of 60 to 35, performing an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat would result in a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable in Ohio by up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate.
The measure includes no exceptions for rape or incest. Doctors may, however, make an exception during a medical emergency or if an abortion would save a woman’s life.