Lawsuit filed to stop Ohio abortion ban after 1st heartbeat

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Planned Parenthood and Ohio abortion clinics have sued to prevent the state’s restrictive abortion law from taking effect.

The complained filed Wednesday in federal court in Columbus says the ban of abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat is unconstitutional and would prohibit nearly all abortions in Ohio. A detectable heartbeat can come as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

The legal challenge was expected by the law’s backers, who are using it as part of a national anti-abortion strategy to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.

The lawsuit asks for a temporary and then permanent ban on the law taking effect, and to have it declared unconstitutional.

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