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Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act (HB 248)

This law was last updated on Aug 28, 2013




HB 248


Failed to Pass


Aug 21, 2013


Co-sponsors: 38
Primary Sponsors: 2
Total Sponsors: 40


Heartbeat Bans

Full Bill Text

HB 248 would require that an abortion provider attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat using “standard medical practice” prior to an abortion. The bill would prohibit 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 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 would not be 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’ failed heartbeat ban (HB 59) would not have restricted the use of vaginal ultrasounds to detect a fetal heartbeat.

If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the bill would require 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.

HB 248 defines contraceptive as “a drug, device, or chemical that prevents conception.” Additionally, the bill defines conception as “fertilization.”

The bill does not prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a drug, device, or chemical that is designed for contraceptive purposes.

In 2012, then-Speaker of the Senate Tom Niehaus decided not to bring a similar bill (HB 125) to a vote. (Source.)

On December 10, 2014, the bill failed on the House floor by a vote of 47-40.