The Impact Of Ending Abortion as a Federal Right On Women’s Health In Ohio
On June 24 of this year, the Supreme Court overturned Roe Vs. Wade ending abortion as a federal right in the United States. Immediately, a law banning abortion after six weeks went into effect in Ohio. However, one out of every three women is unaware that they are pregnant until after the six-week mark.
This law, passed by Republicans and signed by Governor DeWine, does not make any exceptions to incest or rape. Since the pregnant 10-year-old who needed to travel to Indiana hit the news, two more minors that were impregnated by sexual assault have had to travel out of state.
Ohio’s law has significant implications for girls and women, not only those that have been raped or additionally victims of incest but also for all women of childbearing age. The only exceptions to allowing abortion are “to prevent the death” of the mother or when there’s a “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
The problem is that there isn’t a definition of what a “serious risk” is, and as a result, hospitals are denying abortions because of the threat of losing licenses, fines, and possible jail time. Families with unviable pregnancies must travel out of state to get the healthcare they need
One woman with an ectopic pregnancy was denied the simple procedure and had her fallopian tube rupture, necessitating emergency surgery. Two women with cancer had to delay their chemotherapy until they could travel out of state to receive abortions. (For even more documented cases affecting women, see the article Affidavits: More pregnant minors who were raped denied Ohio abortions in the Ohio Capital Journal).
Because the drugs and procedures to help a woman experiencing a miscarriage are identical to those used in abortion, current Ohio law threatens women’s health.
Ohio Republicans are planning to enact a total abortion ban after November’s election. This would prevent in-vitro fertilization and family planning. Finally, this law impedes the training of new doctors, as well as the retention and recruiting of obstetrics and gynecology physicians in Ohio.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The overturning of Roe, combined with the passing of this abortion law, is setting back women and family health. You can help. Vote for and support pro-women health candidates. Mobilize the Vote put together a voter’s guide to many races found here: shorturl.at/LPXY5.
You must register to vote by October 11th. If you have recently moved, update your address as soon as possible. If you registered and have moved, you must vote at the polling location associated with your current address.
Update 9/23/2022: An Ohio judge temporarily blocked the abortion ban for two weeks in Ohio, pending the outcome of a lawsuit brought by a group of abortion providers. The case will probably head to the state’s Supreme Court. Several positions on the state Supreme Court are also on the ballot on November 8th.
A pdf of this article is found here.