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This week, Gabe and Jaime were joined by Amelia Hayes from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. She helped us recall the events of the 2016 Lame Duck legislative session.
In September, Ohio Right to Life indicated to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that they intended to try to pass Senate Bill 127, which bans abortion at 20 weeks. There were 20,976 abortions performed in Ohio in 2015, but only 2% of all abortions reported were at 20 weeks are later. Anecdotal evidence shows that most of these procedures are performed after women receive diagnoses of medical complications, either threatening their own health or their pregnancy. Bans on abortions after 20-weeks punish women who wanted to have healthy pregnancies. Because 20-week bans block abortion before a point of viability, they are unconstitutional according to guidelines established in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
On December 6, after committee notices had been distributed with no abortion ban hearings scheduled, a surprise amendment was introduced in the Ohio Senate. The amendment was the language of the six-week abortion ban known as the “Heartbeat Bill.” The Senate and House both passed the bill on that day, sending it to John Kasich for signature or veto.
Two days later, the House passed the 20-week abortion ban, which Gov. Kasich signed into law.
Video: Ohio House debate on the 20-week abortion ban.
As he signed the 20-week abortion ban, he also used a special line-item veto power to remove the “Heartbeat Bill” amendment from its bill. In one week, John Kasich created a national media firestorm and attempted to make himself appear moderate.
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NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
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.