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'Heartbeat' bill restricting most abortions fails in Ohio House; Senate plans no action

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill that would impose some of the nation's most stringent abortion restrictions has failed in the Ohio House.

Representatives voted 47-40 on the so-called "heartbeat bill," falling short of the 50 votes needed for passage.

The legislation would prohibit most abortions after the first detectable heartbeat, or as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Similar measures have faced legal challenges elsewhere.

The divisive measure passed the House last session but died in the Ohio Senate. It failed to get traction in this General Assembly until last month, when a GOP-led House Health Committee passed the bill after several emotional hours of testimony and debate.

Seeking a floor vote, backers had unsuccessfully attempted to insert the abortion proposal into other bills before the two-year legislative session comes to a close.

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