Columbus — Today the Ohio House and Senate are sending TWO abortion bans to Gov. John Kasich’s desk. The House voted 62-27 to approve Senate Bill 145, the abortion method ban. The Senate concurred with House changes to that bill. Later this evening, the House concurred on House Bill 258, the six-week abortion ban. Both bills had amendments that do not significantly change the impact of the bills.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director, Kellie Copeland said: “In hearing after hearing on both bills medical professionals and medical students testified about how this bill is a dangerous restriction of the practice of medicine and would force quality medical professionals out of the state. We must listen to these medical professionals and the countless individuals who shared their abortion stories. Governor Kasich must reject both of these bills and ensure that all Ohioans have access to the abortion care they need, in their communities, without judgement or delay. Ohio already has an infant and maternal mortality crisis, forcing women out of state for medical care, and pushing medical professionals out of our state will deepen this crisis. For all of these reasons and so many more Kasich should veto both of these bills.”
Ten reasons for John Kasich to veto both abortion bans:
- Removes a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decisions. Once a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs access to safe, legal abortion care in her community. Over twenty-thousand people choose to have an abortion in Ohio each year, and seven in ten Americans support legal access to abortion care.
- Would cause quality medical professionals to leave the state. In testimony doctors and medical students both stated that practicing medicine in a state with laws like SB 145 and HB 258 would be very challenging and would cause them to move their practices out of state.
- No exception for rape or incest. When asked in 2017 by reporter Laura Bischoff, John Kasich said he has told the legislature to be sure these exceptions are in any bill they send him. Republicans rejected amendments to add these exceptions at every stage of the process. The bill would force survivors to give birth to their rapist’s child, even if their rapist is a blood relative.
- Inadequate exception to protect health of the woman. The bill would force doctors to deny people therapeutic abortion care to alleviate medical complications. The bill’s language forces doctors to wait until the patient is nearly dead before terminating a pregnancy, instead of acting promptly to preserve their health.
- Judges blocked this proposal as an unconstitutional abortion ban in every state where it has been challenged. Relying on precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, method bans have been blocked by courts in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama and the court has agreed not to enforce the law in Louisiana while litigation proceeds. The US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge by North Dakota in their effort to pass a six-week abortion ban, a challenge that taxpayers funded.
- Would ban a very safe, and common method of second-trimester surgical abortion. While blocking a D&E procedure is the stated purpose of SB 145, both bills would remove this form of medical care from patients who need it.
- Forces women out of state for medical care, if they can afford it. During the Kasich administration, Ohio went from 16 abortion clinics to 8. Those who can afford to travel out of state have increasingly been forced to seek care in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and other states. Many women cannot afford this travel, especially low-income women, young women, and women of color. These bills punish them disproportionately.
- Would criminalize doctors. These bills would charge doctors with felonies just for providing patients with the best treatment they have decided on. Both bills are opposed by the Ohio State Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- Bill language not based in accurate medical science. Sponsors use inaccurate, inflammatory language. Both bills have been promoted by extreme anti-abortion groups that use inaccurate language and grossly manipulated graphic images that are designed to mislead the public about abortion care.
- Designed to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade. While promoters of the six-week abortion ban have been clear about their intent from the start, the proponents of the abortion method ban have used an incremental strategy to chip away at access to care through one small advance after another. This bill is another step in their cruel plan.