November 17, 2011 — Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R) on Tuesday said he has not decided whether his chamber will vote on the so-called "heartbeat" bill before the end of the year, AP/Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reports (AP/Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, 11/16).
The bill (HB 125), approved by the Ohio House in June, would ban abortion after the first detectable fetal heartbeat -- which can occur as early as six weeks -- without any exceptions for rape or incest (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30).
Niehaus has convened a group of lawmakers to research the measure, which has divided the state's antiabortion-rights advocates. Ohio Right to Life is concerned that the bill could prompt a legal challenge that might jeopardize other restrictions on abortion in the state. Niehaus said he wants the research group to report its findings this month (AP/Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, 11/16).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership