Columbus — The Ohio Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, and Medicaid approved Senate Bill 155 and Senate Bill 208 today, with likely floor votes to be held in Ohio Senate session tomorrow. The bills push harmful false narratives about abortion, and each would charge physicians with third degree felonies for not complying with medically unnecessary rules. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio urges a no vote on both bills.

Regarding both bills, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Abortion opponents are pushing unproven practices to stigmatize abortion with medically-inaccurate information. They have invented outlandish claims about abortion later in pregnancy to slander patients and the medical professionals who care for them. It is bad enough that they want to enshrine these lies into Ohio law, but their bills also include felony penalties that will drive more medical providers out of state. Responsible legislators need to stand up to their reckless colleagues and stop them in their tracks.”

On Senate Bill 155, Copeland said: “Abortion providers rely on scientifically accurate and thoroughly researched information to support patients before, during, and after an abortion. Sen. Lehner, Rep. Antani, and other anti-abortion lawmakers are misleading patients and smearing abortion providers. Patients need medically accurate information, not scripts dictated by politicians filled with potentially dangerous, deceptive and ideologically-laced claims.”

A medication abortion involves the use of two medicines, mifepristone and misoprostol, and has been found to be an effective and safe way to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a crucial hormone for maintaining a pregnancy. Taken by itself, mifepristone may not be successful at ending a pregnancy, which is why the FDA approved protocol is a combination of two medications.

In Senate Bill 155, anti-choice groups claim that by flooding the body with progesterone they can interrupt the effect of mifepristone. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend the practice, stating that “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards…and ACOG does not support prescribing progesterone to stop a medical abortion.”

On Senate Bill 208, Copeland said: “This bill has nothing to do with how abortion care actually works. It purposely perpetuates myths and lies about abortion care, the patients who receive this care, and the doctors who care for them. This bill is part of the dangerous strategy of anti-abortion politicians to push abortion completely out of reach. People who need abortion care deserve support, not lies and stigma.”

Numerous health care organizations, representing thousands of clinicians, oppose bills like SB 208, including ACOG, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

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