Backers of the legislation have said it is specially designed to pass Supreme Court scrutiny.
David F. Forte, a law professor at Cleveland-Marshall School of Law at Cleveland State University, in written remarks to the Senate committee said the bill will give the Supreme Court "an opportunity to modify its abortion jurisprudence so that Congress and the states may protect those unborn children who are virtually certain to be born," Cleveland.com reports.
Sen. Peggy Lehner, a supporter of the bill, cited the Supreme Court's repeated support for racial segregation before striking it down. She said she hoped the treatment of unborn babies by the Supreme Court would prove "as successful for the unborn as it was for the African American."
Bill opponent Sen. Charleta Tavares asked several bill backers who spoke to the committee about whether the government would support women and children with services like housing, employment and Medicaid.
Ellen Schleckman, a medical student focusing on obstetrics and gynecology, said the proposed legislation would harm a doctor's ability to give best care to patients and result in fewer doctors wanting to practice medicine in the state.
Despite questions about the bill's future, it still could become law.
"It would be up to the members, obviously, but if it was passed theoretically next week, I think it would come back (for a veto override) before the end of the year," Fortney said, noting this final vote would take place after Christmas.
Ohio law currently bars abortion 20 weeks or more after conception, based on when an unborn child can feel pain. Pro-abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is considering a legal challenge to that law.
The Ohio Catholic Conference on Nov. 15 said it supports "the life-affirming intent of this legislation," but stopped short of endorsement. The conference said it will continue to assist efforts to resolve "differences related to specific language and strategies."
"In the end, the Catholic Conference of Ohio desires passage of legislation that can withstand constitutional challenge and be implemented in order to save lives," the Catholic conference said.