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Ohio's 'Heartbeat' law now in effect after federal court lifts injunction

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat became the law in Ohio on Friday following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Enforcement of Ohio’s 2019 “heartbeat” ban had been on hold for nearly three years under a federal court injunction. The state attorney general, Republican Dave Yost, asked for that to be dissolved because of the high court’s ruling, and a federal judge agreed hours later.

Gov. DeWine signed an executive order late Friday night  for the Ohio Department of Health to adopt rules under the Heartbeat law "specifying the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the purpose of determining the presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn individual based on standard medical practice."  

Critics had argued that the measure essentially prohibits abortions because the first detectable fetal heartbeat can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

Although the injunction was dissolved, the case has not been dismissed. 

A status conference will be scheduled to determine future proceedings in the case

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