Ohio prepares for legal battle on Heartbeat Law

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ACLU announced plans to sue the state at the same time as the governor signed a new law that bans abortion after the first heartbeat is detected (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) An expected legal battle over the Heartbeat Bill is brewing after Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law Thursday.

The law bans abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. “We think it’s the right thing to do,” said Governor DeWine.

The same day the bill was signed into law, ACLU of Ohio announced plans to file a lawsuit against the state. “We will challenge and we expect to prevail,” explained Freda Levenson with the ACLU of Ohio.

Levenson said she’s confident the organization will win their case in court. “Such bills have been struck as unconstitutional because under clear Supreme Court precedent going back nearly 50 years a woman has a right to an abortion up until fetal viability.”

Governor DeWine said he anticipates the court challenge, “We follow the law, we will continue to follow the law and the United States Supreme Court will ultimately make a decision in this case.”

Other states have passed the Heartbeat Bill, but were not successful in court. North Dakota's law was ruled unconstitutional and the state was ordered to pay $245,000 to a Fargo abortion clinic. The state also racked up $325,948 in legal costs defending the law.

Attorney General Dave Yost will be carrying out Ohio’s legal battle, “My staff is prepared to defend that and we’ll see how far it goes. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this go to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The legal challenge is expected to cost money, but Attorney General Yost doesn't expect a bill as high as North Dakota's, “I don’t think there will be much of a cost to Ohio because we’re not going to go out and hire an outside law firm. We’re going to do it ourselves.”