Heartbeat bill on abortion won’t be law in Ohio

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Republican lawmakers hoping to give Ohio one of the most far-reaching abortion restrictions in the nation have fallen one vote short of overriding the governor’s veto and making it law.

The bill would have banned abortions once the first fetal heartbeat is detected. That can be as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, before most women know they are pregnant.

Term-limited GOP Gov. John Kasich had said in his veto message that the so-called heartbeat bill is unconstitutional. He said enacting it would prompt a costly and unsuccessful court battle.

The House voted Thursday to override the veto during rare post-Christmas voting sessions. The following Senate vote was 19-13, short of the 20 votes needed to override the veto.

It was Kasich’s second veto of similar legislation since 2016.

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