Physicians who perform abortions once a heartbeat is detected will face felony charges and up to one year in prison.
The GOP is cracking down on abortion policies as they prepare to usher in Donald Trump as the new Commander-in-Chief.
Trump's support for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and his pro-life stance were two of many talking points during his presidency campaign and now that he's officially headed to the White House, Republicans aren't wasting any time implementing controversial rulings that stand to infringe on women's rights without apology.
Currently identified as the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation, The Heartbeat Bill outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected––roughly six weeks into a pregnancy, in most cases. The legislation, which was passed in Ohio on Tuesday, previously saw pushback over concerns that it would be deemed unconstitutional, but Republicans are confident the new president and SCOTUS appointees will shift the dynamic.
"I think it has a better chance than it did before," Republican Senate president Keith Faber said of the bill's chances of surviving a constitutional review, according to a report from Dispatch. Physicians who perform abortions either without checking for a heartbeat first, or knowingly move forward with the procedure once one is detected, stand to face felony charges and possible jail time under the new bill.
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Officials for the Pro-Choice Ohio organization say the bill is unconstitutional and unfairly penalizes doctors. "The unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, known as the 'Heartbeat Bill,' would block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant," the group said in a statement following the bill's passage. "The amendment has no exceptions in the bill for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman and would criminalize doctors who perform abortion procedures, regardless of the reason."
Trump and his Republican cohorts have made it clear on several occasions that their ultimate goal with regard to the issue of abortion is to overturn the historic Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.