COLUMBUS — Ohio Senate President Larry Obhoff and Republican leadership introduced their top legislative priorities for 2019, which included two bills to restrict or block abortion access in Ohio. The six-week abortion ban was also scheduled for a first hearing for Wednesday, Feb. 13.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Once a woman has made the decision to end her pregnancy, she must be able to access safe, legal abortion care in her local community. The Ohio Legislature should stop inserting themselves into the personal medical decisions of Ohioans—their interference is not needed or wanted. Ohio politicians should stop criminalizing abortion care, and get busy passing paid maternity leave, and expanding access to quality affordable health care.”
In addition to the high profile six-week abortion ban, Ohio Senate Republicans included a restriction on medical tissue disposal in their top priorities. This bill, which would force an abortion patient to bury or cremate tissue, is an unnecessary and expensive complication that federal courts have already blocked in other states.
On tissue disposal restrictions, Copeland added: “We do not need to create new laws to fix a problem that does not exist. These mandates have nothing to do with improving women’s health and provide no public health benefit. Medical staff currently work with each patient on a case-by-case basis to ensure all their needs are met. Instead of intrusive, cruel mandates on abortion or miscarriage, lawmakers need to focus on fixing the real problems facing women and families in our state.”