Ohio Gov. john Kasich has signed into law a ban on late-term abortions, ending the procedure about 20 weeks after conception. HB 78 will block abortions in cases where an unborn child could survive outside of the womb, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
A similar attempt by state lawmakers in the 1990s to ban late-term abortions was found to be unconstitutional; proponents believe the new law changes address the constitutional issues raised by the courts and will survive future legal challenges.
HB 78 is less restrictive than another bill passed by the Ohio House that would ban abortions within weeks of conception – the so-called heartbeat abortion bill, which would block the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. That legislation is awaiting action by the Ohio Senate, which chose to move quickly on House Bill 78 before breaking for the summer recess.