Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 11:53 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Late-term abortions will be prohibited in Ohio now that Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the recently passed ban into law today.
House Bill 78 bans abortions when a doctor determines a fetus can live outside the womb — a condition known as viability, which is typically when a pregnancy is 23 to 24 weeks along. Doctors would be required to test for viability when a woman is 20 weeks’ pregnant or more.
The law will take effect after 90 days.
"The governor is pro-life, has been pro-life throughout his career and believes strongly in the sanctity of human life," Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said.
Abortion-rights groups and most Democrats opposed the ban, saying it violates women's rights and there is no exception in the law for cases of rape or incest.
Five other states have passed the same legislation and 39 other states have some type of late-term abortion ban, according to Ohio Right to Life. The organization is confident the ban will withstand potential legal challenges.
The late-term abortion ban is among numerous anti-abortion bills the GOP-controlled legislature has proposed this year.
The House of Representatives has approved the controversial "heartbeat bill," which would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Senate has not yet voted on the measure.
The House also has passed a bill that would restrict insurance coverage for abortions and another that would make it more difficult for minors to get a juvenile court judge’s permission to get an abortion without parental consent.