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Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act (HB 125)

This law was last updated on Aug 31, 2013




HB 125


Failed to Pass


Feb 24, 2011


Co-sponsors: 23
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 24


Heartbeat Bans

Full Bill Text


HB 125 requires that an abortion provider attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat using “standard medical practice” prior to an abortion. An abortion is prohibited if a fetal heartbeat is detected, unless there is a medical emergency, and an abortion is necessary to  prevent the death of a pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. The bill provides no exception for rape or incest.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a woman’s first missed period—and well before many women even realize that they are pregnant.

Vaginal ultrasounds are not required to detect a fetal heartbeat: The bill provides that the director of health shall promulgate rules relating to the appropriate methods for performing an exam to determine the presence of a fetal heartbeat, and that those rules “shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.” Notably, Texas’ heartbeat ban does not restrict the use of vaginal ultrasounds to detect a fetal heartbeat.

If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the bill requires the abortion provider to:
(1) inform the woman that the “unborn child” has a fetal heartbeat;
(2) provide information regarding statistical probability of bringing the “unborn child” to term based on its gestational age;
(3) obtain a signed form acknowledging that the woman has been provided this information;
(4) wait at least 24 hours before performing an abortion.

The bill was introduced and passed the house on June 28, 2011, but in 2012, then-Speaker of the Senate Tom Niehaus decided not to bring the bill to a vote. Niehaus has since retired and Rep. Lynn Wachtmann introduced a new heartbeat ban bill (HB 248) on August 21, 2013.