Abortion

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. 

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.

Governor Kasich has signed into law a bill to prohibit abortion coverage by health plans operating in the new insurance exchanges that were laid out in the federal health care overhaul.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has claimed the measure is unconstitutional and has said it would fight it in court.

The ACLU of Ohio says the ban on abortion coverage violates a voter-backed state constitutional amendment that says no law or rule should prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or insurance. 

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.

For this week's edition of PoliticsOhio, Emily McCord speaks with Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau's Jo Ingles who reported earlier this week that a new political action committee was being formed to help pass the bill that would ban abortions at the point a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected. But she says stricter limits on abortion are also being considered by this group, including a drive that would protect a fetus under the Ohio consitution.

Backers of the Ohio House passed bill that would ban abortions at the point a fetus’s heartbeat could be heard are trying a new strategy to get the Ohio Senate to pass the plan. A new political action group calling itself Ohio ProLife Action will make this bill its top priority. Linda Theis is the president of the group.

"The bill is now in the hands of Senate President Tom Niehaus. The bill is now 17 votes away from becoming the most pro life law in the state and indeed in the nation," says Theis.

 The Ohio Senate's Republican leader says he's asking a group of state lawmakers to review legal questions related to a bill that would ban abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

President Tom Niehaus said Tuesday he wants the group to vet any legal issues and report back to him in November.

The measure called the "heartbeat bill" passed the Ohio House in June, but has stalled in the Senate.

Ohio Right to Life has taken issue with the bill, fearing a legal challenge could jeopardize other abortion limits in Ohio and expand access to legal abortions.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Senate has approved a bill that contains new requirements before a minor can be allowed to have an abortion without her parents agreeing to it.

Under the bill, a judge considering whether to let a girl bypass the state's parental consent requirement would have to ask if she understands the physical and emotional impacts of having an abortion. The judge also must ask the girl if she was coached on how to answer such questions.

The Senate passed the measure Tuesday on a 23-8 vote.

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