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Supporters of New Abortion Restrictions Are Pushing Ohio Lawmakers to Take Action

Janet Porter speaks at rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2015.
Janet Porter speaks at rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2015.

Backers of the so-called heartbeat bill, which would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, are pressuring Ohio lawmakers to pass it during the lame-duck session. The chief advocate for the bill thinks lawmakers might be working behind the scenes on it.

The heartbeat bill hasn’t moved in the Senate since it passed the House last year. But another bill that would ban abortions at 20 weeks is considered likely to pass in the lame-duck session.

Janet Porter, leader of the group backing the heartbeat bill, says she’s heard lawmakers are talking about rolling parts of it into the 20-week ban.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the senators to save face and do what’s right, and I think it’s going to protect every one of their political careers in the future if they do.”

Porter has been urging supporters to call lawmakers and ask them to pass the heartbeat bill before it dies when the legislative session ends this week.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.