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An abortion bill similar to Texas' controversial new law is coming to Ohio

In 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the "heartbeat bill," which bans abortions from taking place as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. It has been on hold since it was challenged in federal court in July 2019.

A version of the controversial abortion law passed in Texas and now before the U.S. Supreme Court might be coming to Ohio. A bill to establish a similar but stricter measure has been introduced in the Ohio legislature.

More than a third of the Ohio House - including half of all Republican representatives - have signed on to sponsor a bill that goes further than the one in Texas and bans all abortions. It also would allow anyone to sue a doctor performing abortions and fine them $10,000 per procedure.

Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum), a co-sponsor of the bill, says it uses “the enforcement mechanism from the successful Texas Heartbeat Act.” Linda Theia, president of the Right to Life Action Coalition, says “this will be a major step towards ending abortion in Ohio."

NARAL ProChoice Ohio's Kellie Copeland says this bill would be enforced by deputizing a posse of anti-abortion vigilantes, motivated by $10,000 bounties. Copeland says that's especially scary because abortion providers in Ohio are already being terrorized and threatened. She says this will add fuel to that dangerous fire.

The Texas law this bill is modeled after was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat bill” has been on hold since it was challenged in federal court in July 2019.

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