COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 13, 2011 ( – The Ohio Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would ban most abortions in the state once the unborn child has reached the age of viability.

The Senate voted 22-7 to pass the House’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, the same day that the Senate Health Committee approved it.

“The pro-life members of the Senate demonstrated overwhelming support and their actions today will save countless lives in Ohio,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life.  “We are proud to add the great state of Ohio to the growing list of states who have partnered in this strategic legislative approach.”

The House had already passed “the Viable Infants Protection Act,” (HB 78), which was sponsored by Reps. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Kristina Roegner (R-Cuyahoga Falls).

The law allows an exception only if the mother’s physical life is in danger or if she faces “Serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

Under these circumstances, the abortionist also has to certify that there was no other way to end the pregnancy that would give the unborn child the best chance to survive without posing a greater risk to the mother.

The bill now goes to pro-life Republican Gov. Bob Kasich for review before signing.