Ohio Senate GOP Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

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Ohio Senate GOP Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban

Nina Liss-Schultz

The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved a ban on abortion after 20 weeks' gestation only hours after it went through committee.

The Ohio Senate’s GOP majority on Wednesday approved a ban on abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation only hours after it went through committee. SB 127, which anti-choice group Ohio Right to Life called its “legislative priority” this year, was passed after exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother were removed from the measure.

The bill passed in a 23-9 vote and will now move to the Republican-led state house for approval.

The bans are unconstitutional—abortion is protected by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey until the point of viability—and rest on evidence disputed by the medical community that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks’ gestation.

Ohio is one of at least ten states to introduce so-called fetal pain abortion bans this year. A similar ban was passed in West Virginia after the GOP-majority state legislature overrode the governor’s veto. The Wisconsin Senate passed a so-called fetal pain bill this month.

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The South Carolina legislature will next January take up a 20-week ban despite arguments between conservative legislators that the bill was too lenient because it included exceptions for rape and incest. Those exceptions were eventually removed.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis, who also serves on the state medical board, called SB 127 “the most important piece of legislation Ohio Right to Life has passed in quite a long time,” adding that the measure is “a strategic step into hopefully some day ending abortion.”