Columbus — Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives have introduced House Bill 480, which would ban all abortions in Ohio and deputize anti-abortion vigilantes to turn in their neighbors if they suspect them of providing, obtaining, or helping someone obtain abortion care. The bill is modeled off of Texas Senate Bill 8.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Last week, we saw a second hearing on Senate Bill 123, the abortion trigger ban, which would ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, and now anti-abortion legislators have introduced House Bill 480. Make no mistake, Ohio elected officials are doing everything they can to strip Ohioans of their right and ability to access abortion care. This bill would be enforced by deputizing a posse of anti-abortion vigilantes, motivated by $10,000 bounties. This is especially scary because we’ve already seen terrifying threats against abortion providers in Ohio and this will add fuel to that dangerous fire.

“Black and other women of color as well as trans and non-binary Ohioans will be most scrutinized and targeted by anti-abortion vigilantes. The forces behind these bans are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and transphobic. This is hatred in legal code form.”

Abortion is still legal in Ohio, and anyone who needs care can turn to nine abortion providers across the state. Find the full list at https://prochoiceohio.org/clinics. If any of the pending abortion bans are enacted, Ohioans in need of care who can afford to will be forced to travel long distances out of state. But the reality is that many will be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their will.

On the legality and accessibility of abortion, Copeland said: “If all dominos fall in wrong direction, abortion could be illegal in Ohio by July. Every pro-choice Ohioan must register and vote. We have to have a pro-actively pro-choice governor in Ohio because we cannot rely on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is now packed by Trump–picked appointees. People who have abortions and provide abortions are our friends, family, and neighbors. They don’t deserve to be treated like this. We will never stop fighting the anti-abortion legislators and vigilantes that threaten their safety and wellbeing.”

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