(ONN) – Ohio’s Republican Governor on Thursday afternoon signed into law one of the nation’s strictest anti-abortion measures.

As promised during campaign season, Gov. Mike DeWine signed the “Heartbeat Bill” into law less than 24 hours after Ohio’s general assembly passed the bill, largely along party lines.

“I think the essential function of government is to protect those who can’t protect themselves, and that certainly includes the unborn,” the governor said.

DeWine said that the bill is meant to protect “the most vulnerable Ohioans,” but admitted that it is also intended to be a vehicle to take the abortion debate before the nation’s highest court.

“Ultimately the United States Supreme Court will have to decide.”

Before the bill was signed, the ACLU announced it would challenge the constitutionality of the law, which would outlaw all abortions after about six weeks into pregnancy.