#StopTheBans: Ohio Edition
Posted by Alexis Cole
November 6, 2017
If I ask you to name which states have the worst anti-abortion laws in the country, which ones would you name? Texas? Alabama? Oklahoma? You wouldn’t be wrong, but you’d be forgetting one of the biggest offenders: Ohio.
Since taking office in 2011, Governor John Kasich has signed nearly every anti-abortion measure to come across his desk – from bills to restrict access to those targeting providers. The results? The number of abortion clinics in Ohio dropped by half, leaving the majority of counties without a provider. And Ohio now has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country – unconstitutionally blocking abortion at just 20 weeks.
But they won’t stop there. In this session, the Ohio Legislature continues its obsession with controlling each and every body with a uterus. Currently, the anti-abortion Ohio legislators are moving three different abortion bans simultaneously in their ongoing effort to make Ohio the first state that comes to mind when you think “anti-choice.”
Down Syndrome Abortion Ban (HB 214 / SB 164)
On November 1, the Ohio House passed this bill to ban abortion if the baby might have Down Syndrome. The bill has now been introduced in the Senate, where they already have their own version of the same bill (policy speak for they really want to do this).
This legislation is a disgusting attempt to exert more control over the reproductive health choices of Ohioans. By focusing on why a person is seeking an abortion, this bill would freeze communication between a patient and doctor. Doctors would ask fewer questions and patients would forego important prenatal testing. These changes would undoubtedly cause Ohio’s already abysmal maternal mortality rate to get worse.
But moreover, no person has to justify their choice to seek an abortion. Every person, every circumstance, every pregnancy is different. And we trust the pregnant person to make the choice that is best for them. Period. Every time.
Abortion Method Ban (SB 145)
Over the summer, the Senate passed this bill to ban the most common method of second trimester abortion. The bill is now waiting for the House to consider it.
Abortion providers agree that dilation & evacuation is the BEST option for second trimester abortion, but apparently Ohio legislators think they know better than doctors. Let’s be real, what Ohio legislators want is to put up so many roadblocks to abortion that it takes until your second trimester to clear them and then block your abortion entirely by prohibiting the procedure. All of this together creates forced birth by the government.
Six Week Abortion Ban (HB 258)
On the same day they passed the Down Syndrome abortion ban, the Ohio House held their first hearing on the six-week abortion ban (commonly, but incorrectly, called the “Heartbeat Bill”). This is the bill even Governor “signs every abortion restriction on his desk” Kasich vetoed last year because it was too extreme.
This is a transparent strategy to completely outlaw abortion and challenge Roe v. Wade. We cannot let this extremism go unchecked.
Take a minute to send a message to your Ohio legislators and ask them to #StopTheBans! Every Ohioan deserves access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion. Make sure your #AbortionPositive voice is heard!