Ohio lawmakers approved a bill late Tuesday that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The bill is now headed to Governor John Kasich’s desk. If signed, it will be one of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
The so-called heartbeat bill means that abortion could be prohibited as early as six weeks after conception—a point at which many women may not even realize they are pregnant—effectively making it illegal in the state.
Lawmakers passed the bill largely along party lines, “emboldened by anticipation of [President-elect] Donald Trump’s upcoming federal and Supreme court appointments,” as Cincinnati.com reports. Republicans in the state have tried to advance the heartbeat bill in some form since 2011.
In Ohio, Republicans control both legislative chambers, as well as the governor’s office. Kasich is well known for his anti-choice stance, having previously sought to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, but he has also expressed skepticism over former iterations of the heartbeat bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a petition calling on Kasich to veto the legislation.
“This was completely unexpected, and senators had less than 90 minutes to review the amendment before voting,” the organization wrote.
The measure was tucked last minute into an unrelated child abuse bill and has no exceptions for rape or incest. As Cincinnati.com notes, the change “would put the state in violation of current constitutional standards for abortion rights.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT