Gov. Mike DeWine signed Ohio's "Heartbeat Bill" into law Friday afternoon "to protect those who can't protect themselves."

The ACLU of Ohio had announced a few hours earlier that it will take the state to court over the controversial measure.

The measure — which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected — would go into effect July 11 absent a court order. Abortions would be allowed if the woman's life is in danger, but it contains no exceptions for rape or incest.

ACLU said it will argue that Senate Bill 23 is unconstitutional and violates Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. DeWine, despite signing into law, has routinely acknowledged that the bill with be challenged in court.

“This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight to the bitter end to ensure that this bill is permanently blocked,” said Freda Levenson, legal director of the ACLU Of Ohio. “(This) is one of the most aggressive, oppressive, and radical attacks against women ever seen in this state and this country. … We feel confident our impending litigation will ultimately prevail.”

Similar “Heartbeat Bills” have been struck down in Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas and North Dakota. DeWine, despite signing the bill into law, has routinely acknowledged that the bill with be challenged in court.

Changes made to the bill by the House make it "the nation's strongest pro-life bill," according to Cincinnati Right to Life. Senate Democrats called it “the most extreme abortion ban in the country.”

“Ohio Right to Life welcomes this challenge on Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill,” spokeswoman Jamieson Gordon said. “Roe v. Wade is a poorly decided precedent that is long overdue for a challenge. We believe the Heartbeat Bill could be the legislation to do just that. We’re confident that pro-life Attorney General Dave Yost will do his best to defend Ohio’s laws, as soon as Gov. DeWine signs the legislation.”

Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and the Women's Med Center of Dayton will all be plaintiffs in the suit.

“This ban adds to Ohio’s devastating track record of passing legislation designed to push abortion care out of reach. Anti-abortion politicians in states like Ohio, and other states trying to end abortion care, have no business interfering in people’s lives and health care," said Elizabeth Watson of the ACLU. "We will not stop fighting until everyone in Ohio can make their own personal decisions based on what is best for them.”

Maggie Prosser is a fellow with the E.W. Scripps Statehouse News Bureau.