Judge blocks Ohio abortion law, clinics to remain open

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Ohio law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, allowing clinics to continue to provide the procedure as a legal battle advances.

Wednesday’s decision halts enforcement of the so-called heartbeat bill law that opponents argued would effectively ban the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Ohio law in April, after predecessor Republican John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) twice vetoed it. Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics represented by the American Civil Liberties Union sued in May.

Ohio is among a dozen states that have considered similar legislation this year, as abortion opponents have pursued a national anti-abortion strategy to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

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