Abortion-rights, voting-rights groups descend on Statehouse

COLUMBUS (AP) — Abortion-rights supporters are staging a Statehouse protest as legislation effectively outlawing the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat advances.

The rally Tuesday coincides with Ohio Senate hearings on the so-called “heartbeat bill,” which could stop abortions are early as six weeks into pregnancy. The House OK’d the measure in November.

It’s among bills the Republican-controlled Legislature is pushing through its lame duck session despite term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich’s opposition .

Kasich vetoed a version of the heartbeat bill last session and has said he’ll do so again. Kasich also opposes a bill expanding “stand-your-ground” rights involving guns. Representatives already approved the bill, which is now before senators.

Voting-rights organizations are speaking out Tuesday against lawmakers’ efforts to toughen requirements to get petition-proposed constitutional amendments onto Ohio’s statewide ballot.