Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act (SB 297)
This law was last updated on Sep 10, 2018
SB 297 would have required that an abortion provider attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat using “standard medical practice” prior to an abortion. The bill would have prohibited abortion 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 would have provided 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 would not have been required to detect a fetal heartbeat: The bill states that the director of health shall adopt 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.”
If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the bill would have required 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.
Similar to HB 248.