***Update*** Despite bi-partisan opposition in committee and on the Ohio Senate floor, the Ohio Senate voted 20-9 to approve Senate Bill 260 this afternoon. Sen. Stephanie Kunze and Sen. Nathan Manning joined the Democrats in opposing the bill. Senate Bill 260 would ban the use of telemedicine for medication abortion care and could put abortion access out of reach for many Ohioans, especially those in underserved and rural communities. This bill now heads to the Ohio House for consideration.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director said: “Lawmakers pushing these restrictions on abortion access are out of step with Ohio values. Ohioans overwhelmingly support abortion access. Everyone deserves access to health care on their terms and in their communities, including the rural communities served by telemedicine. A recent poll showed 61% of Ohio voters agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Bills designed to undermine Roe and block abortion access, whether through incremental restrictions or complete bans, are harmful to women, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals and everyone needing abortion care. These bills must not become Ohio law.”
Columbus — Today, anti-abortion extremists in the Ohio Legislature announced that they are introducing a new “trigger ban” which would immediately block abortion access in Ohio if any state is able to secure a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Addressing this new legislation, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Abortion care is fundamental to equality and autonomy. Representative John Becker, Senator Kristina Roegner, and their ultra-conservative cronies despise those personal freedoms and want to make people in Ohio bend to their will. We won’t do it. Every person deserves to be able to make their own reproductive health care decisions so they can chart their own paths and futures. All people deserve quality affordable abortion care in their communities without stigma, shame, or delay.”
Copeland continued, “It’s every Ohioans’ human right to make their own decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. The abortion restrictions we’re seeing debated at the Ohio Statehouse and at the U.S. Supreme Court would deprive people of their ability to make their own health care decisions. In our state, and across the country, legislators have been waging a relentless assault on access to all forms of reproductive health care, all the while our infant and maternal mortality rates are at crisis level—especially in the Black community. Shame on these legislators and their allies for not working to increase access to health care, and for criminalizing physicians and the patients they serve.”
This week, we are seeing the following actions on abortion restrictions:
- Anti-choice legislators in the Ohio House have announced a new “trigger ban” bill that would immediately block abortion access in Ohio if any state is able to secure a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
- The Ohio Senate is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on Senate Bill 260, a ban on using telemedicine to provide patients with access to medication abortion care. The bill was passed out of Health, Human Services and Medicaid committee with bipartisan opposition last week.
- In Washington DC, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June v. Russo on Wednesday morning. That case out of Louisiana is identical to the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a series of Texas politically motivated abortion restrictions.
On Senate Bill 260, Copeland said: “Low-income people, people of color, young people, immigrants, and people living in our rural communities are most seriously harmed any abortion restriction. They already face the greatest obstacles in accessing health care. Telemedicine is an important medical advancement that was designed and promoted by the entire health care field as a way to serve these populations. The Ohio Senate will be harming, not helping, rural Ohioans if they pass Senate Bill 260.”
The Louisiana law at issue in the June v. Russo case is identical to the Texas law that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in these ways: it mandates a 30-mile admitting privilege requirement, it provide a medical benefit to patients seeking abortion care, it harms patients’ health by shutting down clinics, and it includes a devious intention to deny people abortion care. The June case is clearly being brought forth to test the new make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh.