Ohio Legislature Poised to Block Women’s Access to Physicians

Columbus — The Ohio House Health Committee has scheduled a rare single hearing and committee vote on Senate Bill 164 for Wednesday, December 6. During the same committee hearing, they will also be receiving witness testimony against the six-week abortion ban, House Bill 258, also known as the “Heartbeat Bill.”

Speaking about SB 164, the Down syndrome abortion ban, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “This bill prevents a woman from having honest conversations about her options with her physician—especially following a complicated medical diagnosis. This legislation criminalizes those important conversations and callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy.”
Last December, John Kasich used the six-week abortion ban to grab national headlines while he quietly signed a 20-week abortion ban into law. Legislators in the Ohio House are now trying the same distracting tactic to again threaten access to safe and legal abortion care.
Copeland continued: “This is a cowardly plan we’ve seen before. If these politicians were actually working in the best interest of women, they wouldn’t be creating smokescreens to hide their true goals.”

Down syndrome abortion bans like SB 164 and companion HB 214 are unconstitutional proposals. Similar legislation was blocked in Indiana by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on September 25, 2017.