Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act (HB 125)

This law was last updated on Aug 31, 2013


State

Ohio

Number

HB 125

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Feb 24, 2011

Topics

Heartbeat Bans

Full Bill Text

www.legislature.state.oh.us

SUMMARY

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.

STATUS
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.


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