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What to know about six-week ban, ectopic pregnancy


Claire Ockner, 21, of Columbus, participates in an abortion rights protest at the Ohio Statehouse after the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Ohio’s six-week abortion ban became law last week, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and punted control of the procedure to states.

Republican lawmakers passed legislation in 2019 that prohibits abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy. Advocates for abortion access sued over the measure, known as the heartbeat bill, and a federal judge put the law on hold while the fate of Roe was determined.

The court lifted the injunction in that case late Friday at the request of Attorney General Dave Yost, allowing the law to take effect.

Here’s what you need to know about the six-week ban.

When is abortion legal in Ohio?

Abortions are permitted until cardiac activity is detected, which usually occurs at about six weeks gestation. Physicians mark the start of a pregnancy by the first day of the person’s last menstrual period, so many people don’t know they’re pregnant before six weeks unless they have a regular cycle. 

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