Judge Barrett Blocks Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill From Taking Effect

Heartbeat Bill Was Set to Go Into Effect July 10

DATE: Wednesday, July 3, 2019     PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Today, Judge Michael Barrett on the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio ruled to prevent the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act (SB 23) from going into effect on July 10. Governor Mike DeWine signed the Heartbeat Bill on April 11, and it was set to go into effect in 90 days. The Heartbeat Bill has been passed in seven other states, including Kentucky and Georgia.

“While it is certainly disappointing that Judge Barrett would issue a preliminary injunction, it is certainly not surprising,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “The Heartbeat Bill has the potential to be the vehicle that overturns Roe v. Wade. We know that this preliminary injunction is just a step in the process to finally seeing Roe reconsidered.”

The law would prohibit abortion when a human heartbeat can be detected. An abdominal ultrasound can detect a heartbeat between eight and twelve weeks. Any physician who performs an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected would have to demonstrate they did so to save the life of the mother. A recent Marist Poll found that 80% of Americans want to limit abortions no later than three months of pregnancy (12 weeks).

“Ohio Right to Life has sought to enact incremental, life-saving laws in Ohio, that will either go into effect in Ohio or serve as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Gonidakis. “Roe is an outdated, terribly decided precedent and its time that the Supreme Court take a second look at it. We’re confident that the Heartbeat Bill could be the legislation that reaches that level. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for life-saving laws and policies to seek a more life-affirming culture in Ohio.”

While this case goes through the legal system, Ohio Right to Life will continue to advocate on behalf of pro-life legislation in Ohio. To view Ohio Right to Life’s remaining legislative priorities, please click here.

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.


To read the order, click here. 


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