Ohio’s 20-week abortion ban in effect, unchallenged in court

COLUMBUS (AP) – A new law banning abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation has taken effect in Ohio as anti-abortion activists plan further efforts aimed at curbing abortion access in the state.

Abortion rights advocates have criticized the law as a barrier for women seeking safe medical care but haven’t challenged it in court.

The 20-week ban is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound.

Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the law in December, and it took effect Tuesday. Kasich vetoed stricter provisions in a separate measure that would have barred the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

The Dayton Daily News reports Ohio has enacted 18 abortion restrictions since Kasich became governor in 2011, and Ohio abortions have steadily declined since 2000.

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