COLUMBUS -- A powerful Ohio Senate committee has shut down an effort by backers to force a vote on legislation that would impose the most stringent abortion restriction in the nation.
Supporters of the so-called "heartbeat bill" vowed to unblock it with a discharge petition but were outmaneuvered Thursday when the Senate rules committee re-referred the bill to the same committee. The bill must remain there for 30 days - more time than remains in this legislative session.
The sudden move followed Senate President Tom Niehaus (NEE'-hows) removing two Republican members from the committee.
The bill proposed banning most abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. Backers hoped such a restriction would spark a legal challenge that could lead to overturning the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion up until viability.
JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent
The Associated Press