Federal judge halts Ohio’s ‘heartbeat abortion’ law

An Ohio law banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat was temporarily blocked by a federal judge July 3, a week before it was set to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett issued the temporary stay on the law following a suit from the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics and abortion rights groups.

The ACLU has argued that the law is unconstitutional because it would effectively ban most abortions. Fetal heartbeats are typically first detectable between six and eight weeks of pregnancy, before some women know they are pregnant.

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