2, Blog Post

Women are leaving Ohio for an abortion

Ohio has lost half of our abortion clinics since Governor John Kasich took office.

There are only eight surgical abortion providers in our state. As NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has warned policymakers for years, closing abortion clinics and banning procedures does not reduce the need for abortion, it simply forces women to take more difficult steps end their pregnancies.

Doctors have shared with me their outrage at Kasich for criminalizing medical procedures that they view as the standard of care for women facing a medically necessary abortion. It’s hard to image how painful it is to have a wanted pregnancy turn to heartbreak, only to have that situation made worse by Kasich’s policies that force doctors to abandon their patients and send them to a neighboring state get the medical care they need. No patient, and for that matter no doctor, should be treated this way.

Women are also leaving Ohio for abortion care because so many clinics have closed that in some areas, timely access to abortion has become a problem. According to the Toledo Blade editorial board:

Abortion is becoming a major Ohio export, thanks to anti-abortion activists who have made it difficult — even impossible — to get an abortion in this state. The number of women who got an abortion in Ohio has declined by more than 15 percent since 2010, but many of them have moved across the border to Michigan, where abortions have spiked by more than 18 percent.

Reducing access by imposing undue hardships on Ohio’s women has not mitigated the need for this critical service. The number of non-Michigan residents to get an abortion in the state nearly doubled from 2013 to 2014 — from 708 to more than 1,300 — after Ohio enacted a medically unnecessary law that closed nearly half of Ohio’s abortion clinics and imposed other restrictions on women seeking an abortion.

Ohio is a medical destination state. People travel here from across the globe to seek treatment at our world class hospitals. Medical care is the largest and fastest growing sector in our state’s economy. If we don’t reverse the trend of criminalizing doctors and forcing Ohio women to flee our state to access abortion care, we will not only continue to jeopardize the lives of Ohio women, we will jeopardize our standing as a global leader in medical care.

— Kellie Copeland

Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

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