A federal judge blocked Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat” abortion ban from taking effect on Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett of Cincinnati issued a temporary restraining order, preventing the law from going forward. The ban was set to take effect on July 11. The law would have prevented doctors from performing abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into a pregnancy. “The law is well settled that women possess a fundamental constitutional right of access to abortion,” Barrett wrote in his ruling. First-year Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in April, and said he hoped it would serve as a “vehicle” for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion activists hope conservative justices appointed by President Trump will overturn the 1973 decision, making abortion illegal across the nation. Ohio’s law followed several other states that have enacted similar legislation this year—none of which have survived a federal court challenge.
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