COLUMBUS, Ohio — The leader of the Ohio Senate says hearings on a bill that would impose the nation's strictest abortion limit will resume after the state's March 6 primary.

Senate President Tom Niehaus (NEE'-hows) told reporters on Wednesday that his chamber would take up the measure after the primary contests. He did not further explain the timing or decision.

The measure cleared the Ohio House in June. Supporters had believed it was headed toward Senate passage before the holiday break, but Niehaus suspended hearings on the legislation in December.

The proposal would outlaw abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, sometimes as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

About two dozen pastors of churches from Cleveland to Cincinnati visited the Statehouse on Wednesday to urge senators to vote on the bill.