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Ohio lawmakers take 3rd pass at bill to ban abortions after 1st detectable fetal heartbeat

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the third time in as many legislative sessions, Ohio abortion opponents have introduced a proposal to effectively ban the procedure after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, which can come as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The so-called "heartbeat bill" re-emerged on Tuesday with 50 of 99 state representatives signed on as co-sponsors.

The effort follows two failed attempts at what would be one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in America, and one detractors fear would prompt costly litigation.

The Senate blocked the bill two sessions ago and, last session, it failed in a dramatic House floor vote.

The measure had fiercely divided Ohio's anti-abortion community, with Ohio Right to Life refusing to endorse it out of fear a court challenge could undo existing abortion restrictions.

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