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Activists To Protest As Ohio Senate Debates 'Heartbeat Bill'

Abortion rights advocates protest the Down Syndrome ban on abortions at the Ohio Statehouse in 2017.
Julie Carr Smyth
Associated Press
Abortion advocates protest the Down Syndrome ban on abortions at the Ohio Statehouse in 2017.

Senators are getting their first look at the six-week abortion ban in an afternoon hearing. Opponents of the “Heartbeat Bill” plan a rally outside the Statehouse around noon.

Pro-choice activists say the bill effectively bans abortion, because it outlaws the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, which can come before many women even know they’re pregnant. The Ohio House passed the measure in November.

Kasich vetoed a version of the Heartbeat Bill last session and has said he'll do so again.

Lawmakers will also hear bills to require food stamp eligibility to be reviewed quarterly, rather than annually; to change the way people who are wrongfully convicted are compensated; and to raise the legal marriage age to 18.

They’re also considering two bills banning what’s known as “revenge porn,” when nude or sexually explicit photos are shared or published online without the permission of the subject. 

The day closes with another hearing on the self-defense bill referred to as “Stand Your Ground,” which lawmakers appear likely to pass although Kasich has threatened to veto. That bill would remove the requirement to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.

Voting-rights organizations are speaking out Tuesday against lawmakers' efforts to toughen requirements to get petition-proposed constitutional amendments onto Ohio's statewide ballot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.