‘Heartbeat’ abortion bill to make return in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Abortion opponents in Ohio plan to resurrect a proposal to effectively ban the procedure after the first fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The bill’s previous sponsor tells The Associated Press he and other lawmakers will announce plans to reintroduce the so-called “heartbeat bill” at a Thursday news conference.

House Health Chairman Lynn Wachtmann (WAHCH’-man), a Republican, said in a Wednesday interview that about 40 of the 99 Ohio House members have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

The abortion measure died last year after the Senate’s GOP leader blocked it from a vote. He’s since retired due to term limits.

The measure had fiercely divided Ohio’s anti-abortion community, with some fearing a court challenge could undo other abortion restrictions already in place.

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