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.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that induced abortions dropped 12 percent last year, hitting the lowest number since the state started tracking them 35 years ago.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that abortions have fallen in Ohio each year since 2000. Experts attribute it to a variety of factors, including increased use of birth control, better access to health care and improved health education.
The number of overall Ohio births also has fallen, 16.5 percent from 1990 to 2010.
An Ohio House committee is scheduled to take a possible vote on a bill that could put Planned Parenthood in the back of the line when it comes to money for family planning services. That’s just one of the bills that lawmakers will likely consider in the coming lame duck session of the Ohio legislature.