Ohio has emerged as the latest battleground in the fight over abortion, after the Republican-controlled state legislature on Thursday approved a budget that includes new abortion restrictions.
The bill includes a provision requiring a doctor to attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat and inform the woman seeking the abortion about it.
It would also put Planned Parenthood at the end of the line for state family-planning funds -- behind clinics that don't provide abortions -- and force abortion providers to seek transfer arrangements with private hospitals rather than public ones. Abortion rights advocates contend these measures are aimed at shutting down abortion providers.
Demonstrations were reportedly held Thursday as the legislature was voting on final passage -- with some saying they were spurred by Democratic Texas Sen. Wendy Davis's filibuster against an abortion bill in that state. Abortion rights advocates are urging Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) to strike the abortion provisions using a line-item veto.
No Democrats supported the budget, and seven state House Republicans and one state Senate Republican voted against it.
Kasich has until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to sign the bill or issue vetoes. He declined to say earlier this week whether he would veto the abortion restrictions.
“I’ll look at the language, keeping in mind that I’m pro-life,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
New abortion restrictions have made their way through several state legislatures in recent months -- the most recent example being the fight over a Texas abortion bill that turned Davis into a star.
After Davis temporarily thwarted a bill that would be abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called a second special session to take up the bill again.
The U.S. House last week signed off on a similar bill. The bill is very unlikely to pass in the Senate, though.