Heartbeat Bill

Backers of the controversial measure called the "heartbeat bill" being considered in the Ohio House are trying a new strategy to get Ohio lawmakers to pass it during the lame duck session. The bill would make abortion illegal at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

A controversial abortion bill that failed in the last general assembly is back again. The heartbeat bill, the legislation that would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected, has been re-introduced.

Janet Folger Porter, the head of a group that pushed the heartbeat bill last time around, had this to say to reporters at the Ohio Statehouse.

"Just suffice it to say, did you really think we were going to give up, really?" says Folger Porter.

The so-called "Heartbeat Bill" is dead in this session of the legislature, according to Republican Senate president Tom Niehaus. But its backers say they won't give up, and are still hoping for a last-minute maneuver to get it to the Senate floor before the end of the year. But one supporter of restrictions on abortion who's not getting involved is Gov. John Kasich.

"I let the legislature do its job, and then I respond.  I try not to wade into the legislature," says Kasich.  "I don't get in the middle of legislative activity."

Earlier this week, backers of what's known as the heartbeat abortion bill threatened to use a unusual tactic known as a discharge petition to bring the bill for a vote by the state senate - despite the wishes of it's president. Now the senate president is taking an unusual step of his own to make sure the bill does not come up for a vote by his members during the lame duck session.

Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus has used an unusual procedure to keep the heartbeat abortion bill tied up in a senate committee for the next 30 days so it can’t come onto the floor for a vote.

Bill Cohen from Ohio Public Radio joins Emily McCord for PoliticsOhio to discuss the Quinnipiac poll results from this week. Cohen reports that Ohioans fall along party lines regarding support for the so-called "heartbeat bill". Another poll finds that Ohioans overwhelmingly support natural oil and gas drilling for economic reasons over the environment, yet they do want a moratorium on fracking. Cohen addresses the possible reasons behind Governor Kasich's announcement to hold to State of the State address outside of the statehouse.

The Quinnipiac University poll poses this: There’s a bill before the state legislature that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, usually 6 to 8 weeks into pregnancy.  Do you support or oppose this bill?  Forty five percent of Ohioans say they support it and 46 percent say they oppose it. 

Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles speaks to Emily McCord about controversy surrounding Ohio's death penalty. A Federal appeals court upholds decision delaying execution of condemned Ohio man who killed 2 despite state efforts. Also, advocates for a stringent abortion bill made their case at the statehouse week. Ingles also reports on Presidential politics and explains the process for the Republican primaries.

Backers of the proposed bill that would outlaw abortion in Ohio at the point where a fetal heartbeat could be detected are trying a new tactic to get state senators to move the bill forward. They brought young children to the Statehouse and gave them teddy bears that made the sound of a fetal heartbeat. The children then took those bears to Senators who are considering the so called heartbeat bill. One of its major backers, Janet Folger Porter, said she thinks the group’s efforts are working.

The sponsor of an Ohio bill that would impose the nation's most stringent abortion limit has taken responsibility for some confusion over proposed changes to the measure that caused hearings on the bill to be suspended last month.

A Dec. 15 letter written by state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann sheds new light on the sudden hold that was put on the divisive legislation dubbed the "heartbeat bill." The measure cleared the Ohio House in June. Backers had believed it was headed toward passage in the Senate before the holiday break.

Opponents of an Ohiobill banning abortions at the first detectable heartbeat tell state senators the measure is radical and cruel.

They spoke on what's referred to as the "heartbeat bill" during its second hearing, with testimony Wednesday coming from  opponents and interested parties including clergy members and doctors.

Dozens filled hallways and the hearing room to protest the bill that would impose the most stringent abortion limit in the nation. Many wore pink to contrast themselves with proponents, who wear the color red to represent hearts.