Ohio Lawmakers Pass Bill to Deny Access to Abortion as Early as 6 Weeks

Critics say it's the most extreme abortion ban in the entire country.

Today, the Ohio State House of Representatives is slated to consider a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks unless the health of the woman was in jeopardy, according to The Associated Press. That vote comes days after both the Ohio State Senate and Ohio State House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent abortions if a fetal heart beat is detected, often around six weeks into a pregnancy.

Many women, even those seeking to get pregnant, are not able to detect they are pregnant with at home pregnancy testes until close to or well after the six week mark in a pregnancy.

Kasich's office declined to address directly whether or not he will sign the so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill. But according to the AP, he has previously said he would be concerned that a law like this would be unconstitutional.

"A hallmark of lame duck is a flood of bills, including, bills inside of bills and we will closely examine everything we receive," Kasich's press secretary Emmalee Kalmbach told ABC News today.

"I think it has a better chance [of becoming law] than it did before," he said.

Amanda Allen, Senior State Legislative Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said similar bills in North Dakota and Arkansas had failed when challenged in federal court.

“Courts have uniformly said--including the Supreme Court-- that states cannot ban abortion before viability,” said Allen, pointing out that even the 20-week abortion ban would be before viability.

Pro-choice advocates have called on constituents to call and email the governor's office to stop him from signing the "heartbeat" bill into law and to draw attention to the other bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Gabriel Mann, communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice in Ohio, said that pro-choice advocates are concerned that the "heartbeat" bill could divert attention away from the 20-week abortion ban bill. If Kasich vetoes the "heartbeat" bill, he will have more political cover to sign into law the 20-week abortion bill without much protest, Mann noted.

Mann pointed out that there are just two clinics in Ohio that will perform abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. He called the ban on abortions after 20 weeks “cruel.”

"We know that many, many of these cases are women who wanted to have a healthy pregnancy," said Mann. "They wanted to have a child and at this point got a medical diagnosis that the pregnancy is failing or complications were putting her health at risk."

He added the bill to ban abortion after a heart beat is detected, "What it would mean is women in Ohio would not be able to access abortion, period."