Ohio lawmakers are not planning to pass a new abortion law before the end of the year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio will not see a new abortion ban or new language to an existing abortion ban pass the legislature by the end of the year, according to Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima).

The Ohio Statehouse
[Daniel Konik | Statehouse News Bureau]
The leader of the Ohio Senate said lawmakers will not come up with language to clarify the state’s abortion law, which bans an abortion as early as six-weeks into a pregnancy.

That ban is currently on hold by a court and some lawmakers indicated they would like to come up with language to clarify that language during the lame-duck session.

Ohio’s “heartbeat” law bans abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The law has been on hold since October when a Hamilton County Court ruled the law’s language was too vague.

Legislators considered passing a bill to clarify that language and to specifically write into law when doctors could still perform abortions even after fetal cardiac electrical activity is detected.

Huffman said don’t expect a bill to clarify that language by the end of this year.

“I think there are just too many moving parts, too many different opinions as to what that would look like,” Huffman said.

Huffman said lawmakers had hoped the clarifying language would have been part of a larger bill that would also contain income tax credits for Ohioans who choose to adopt a child.

Meanwhile, two groups are in the beginning stages of crafting proposed constitutional amendments to allow voters to guarantee abortion rights in Ohio’s constitution.

Republicans plan to bring up the issue of abortion next year in the new General Assembly, which will retain a GOP supermajority in both chambers.