House again OKs ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban; Senate fate dim

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A ban on most abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat has once again cleared the Ohio House, leaving the rest of the two-year session for advocates to lobby the bill’s opponents in the Ohio Senate.

Wednesday’s approval followed a startlingly emotional floor debate in which one veteran female lawmaker revealed she’d been raped and had an abortion, and one male legislator cried as he recounted praying that his stillborn child would take a breath.

Sponsor Christina Hagan said her own heartbeat stopped repeatedly while she was being delivered.

Amid the tears and raised voices, the Republican-controlled chamber approved the bill 55-40 in the third such vote in as many sessions.

Proponents defended the bill as life-protecting, while opponents called it unconstitutional and heavy-handed.

 

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