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'Heartbeat Bill' Not Top Priority For Ohio House, Speaker Says

This photo taken June 5, 2012, outside the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, shows a large balloon in support of the "Heartbeat Bill."
Ann Sanner
Associated Press

The leader of the Ohio House says the controversial “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, is not a priority for the new session. But Speaker Larry Householder says lawmakers still want to pass it. 

Householder says most of his members will vote for the “Heartbeat Bill,” but there is a caveat.

“It will not be one of our top agenda items in the House, but it will be something members want to do and we will do it, but it has to start in the Senate," Householder says.

Two Republican women legislators, state Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and state Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), are set to re-introduce the bill. A previous incarnation of the bill was vetoed twice by former Gov. John Kasich, but Gov. Mike DeWine has said he will sign it.

For the first time, the “Heartbeat Bill” will have the backingof Ohio Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group. That organization said recent appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court made it more conservative and more likely to overturn “Roe v. Wade.”

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.