2, Blog Post

Cruel Action by Ohio Senate Targets Women at Most Vulnerable Moment

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The Ohio Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 127, the 20-week abortion ban. The fast-track floor vote on this extremely controversial legislation comes just hours after a vote by the Senate Health Committee. This legislation violates Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey by banning abortion prior to viability and is opposed by the ACLU of Ohio. Medical groups like Physicians for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio oppose this legislation due to the threat it poses to women’s health. The Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Health also opposes this legislation on the grounds of religious liberty.

The Health Committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Charleta Tavares to add exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother. Sen. Peggy Lehner spoke in opposition to the amendment because the health-of-the-woman exception was “broad and vague.” NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio believes that legislation allowing for life-saving medical care for women should be broad, giving physicians every opportunity to provide care without concern for the personal views of anti-choice legislators.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “This is retaliation legislation. Following the decision by Lucas County Judge Myron Duhart to keep Capital Care Network open in Toledo, anti-women politicians are scrambling to score points with lobbyists opposing abortion rights.

“The 20-week abortion ban sacrifices the health and reproductive rights of women at their most vulnerable moment: most women targeted by this bill are suffering from medical complications with a wanted pregnancy. Doctors shouldn’t have their hands tied by legislators, they need to be able to treat their patients in the way that is best for their patient and their family.”

Offering testimony to the Health Committee was a woman who experienced a tragic pregnancy. Marla said: “During a routine ultrasound just after 20 weeks, my doctor started the conversation by telling us that Samuel’s heart was on the wrong side of his body.” Marla told of having to travel outside Ohio to terminate the wanted pregnancy because of post-viability restrictions signed by John Kasich in 2011. SB 127 targets women just like her. (Full testimony at: http://www.ohiosenate.gov/committee/health-and-human-services)

Also opposing the bill in committee was Erika, a fourth-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She testified before committee: “This bill was invented out of emotion and not science. It interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and prevents physicians from practicing evidence-based medicine. It would deny Ohio women access to safe and legal abortion. If enacted into law, this bill would compromise my ability to care for my patients and to offer them the best medical care available.”


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.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

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