More than a month after Gov. Mike DeWine signed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, a lawsuit has been filed in federal court to stop it from taking effect in July. It bans abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The bill bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, often before a woman would even know she was pregnant. Jessie Hill, an attorney working with the ACLU, says the so-called “heartbeat bill” is blatantly unconstitutional.
“The law is very clear and the science that fetuses are not viable at six weeks of pregnancy and states cannot ban abortions before viability.”
BREAKING - Our favorite phrase, “we’ll see you in court” just got teeth; today we filed a federal lawsuit challenging the total abortion ban. We are doing everything in our power to prevent the law from taking effect on its scheduled date of July 10. #StopTheBans pic.twitter.com/bjgRc91bhV— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) May 15, 2019
Backers of the heartbeat bill expected the court challenge over the new law and hope the case will end up with the U.S. Supreme Court.
This lawsuit is the latest in a long list of hurdles for the Heartbeat Bill. Lawmakers fought for the bill's passage since 2011 and passed it through the legislature twice. Former Gov. John Kasich, also a Republican, vetoed the measure twice, most recently last year. He had said it was clearly unconstitutional. But DeWine had promised to sign the bill during his campaign for Governor. And last month, he kept his word, signing the bill into law.