Ohio heartbeat abortion ban passes in the Senate

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Beckie Clere works with pregnant women who come to Two Hearts Pregnancy Centers in a tough situation and are often considering abortion.

"She chose life for her baby. She gave her baby that chance,” Clere said.

That’s why she’s in support of the Ohio heartbeat abortion ban.

The bill would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected -- before some women even know they're pregnant, making it one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country.

On Wednesday, the Republican-led Senate passed the bill 19-13.

While the bill does have an exemption if a mother's life is at risk, it doesn’t have an exemption for cases of rape or incest -- something that pro-choice advocates say is cruel.

"The decision to have an abortion is personal. It is a decision that should be made between a woman and her physician and certainly should not be made in the halls of the Ohio Statehouse," said Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.

But for pro-life advocates like Clere, the potential of the bill becoming law gives her hope that more women will consider options other than abortion.

One woman she worked with was considering abortion, but ended up choosing to put the child up for adoption. Another was in the same situation, but decided to keep the child, who is now 5 years old.

"That child's the light of her life, she’s so grateful that she didn't choose abortion," Clere said.

A decision over heartbeats is now in the hands of the House.

Former Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar measures twice before due to concerns that it would lead to a costly court battle.

Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated that he would sign the ban.

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