Ohio officials are expected to return to court in Hamilton County for a hearing Oct. 7 after a judge extended a ban on the state’s fetal heartbeat bill for another 14 days.
The decision continues to allow abortions in the state through 20 weeks, pausing a state law that stopped most abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks. The law, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in April 2019, went into effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.
A Fulton County Superior Court judge declined a request to block Georgia’s fetal heartbeat law that bans most abortions after six weeks.
Georgia lawmakers passed House Bill 481, the Living Infants Fairness Equality Act, in 2019. However, a federal judge initially blocked the law, commonly called the “Heartbeat Bill,” because the U.S. Supreme Court had previously upheld the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
A federal appeals court has allowed a Tennessee law that prohibits abortions sought due to sex, race, or prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, to go into effect until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit allowed the Tennessee law to be enforced while litigation against it continues. The court also postponed hearing the case until after the Supreme Court issues a decision in Dobbs, a case involving a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
One day before early voting begins, GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe faced off for the first time in a debate at the Appalachian School of Law in southwestern Virginia Thursday. Moderators asked candidates about policies including abortion, Critical Race Theory (CRT), right to work, qualified immunity, vaccine mandates, and Confederate monuments. Youngkin repeatedly tried to link policy issues to McAuliffe’s past record, while McAuliffe repeatedly tried to tie Youngkin to former President Trump. Both candidates also committed to accepting the result of the election if certified by the state.
Moderators asked McAuliffe he would sign laws that legalize third trimester abortions even without currently-required approval of three doctors in Virginia.
“If they came up with a solution, and the woman’s life has to be in danger, it has to be certified, and if you had a legitimate doctor that says, ‘This woman, her life’s in danger,’ of course I would support that,” McAuliffe said.
With the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to block a Texas law banning abortions at six weeks when fetal heartbeats begin, Arizona’s Republican-dominated legislature is expected to enact a similar law. Until now, federal courts had struck down several laws regulating abortion enacted in Arizona. The unusual nature of the Texas law — allowing citizens to sue in order to enforce it instead of the state — is why a 5-4 majority on SCOTUS allowed the significant intrusion into Roe v. Wade.
Cathi Herrod, president of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy and a key architect of pro-life bills in the Arizona Legislature, said Arizona should copy the successful legislation in order to avoid being struck down. “The Texas heartbeat law is a road map to what other states can do,” she told Capitol Media Services. “The Texas heartbeat law is worthy of serious consideration by the Arizona Legislature.”