Deja Vu at the Ohio Statehouse

Well, the Ohio Legislature is at it again: introducing yet another bill that would restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. This week, legislators in the Ohio House re-introduced the six-week abortion ban. Ohio House Bill 258 would outlaw any abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected; banning abortions as early as six weeks – at a time before most women even know that they are pregnant.

This is the fourth consecutive year that this unconstitutional bill has been introduced in Ohio, and every time the bill has been rejected. Most recently, last year, the six-week abortion ban passed – with no exceptions for rape or incest – without any public hearings during the last days of session. It was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Kasich, but that did not stop state legislators from re-introducing the bill again this year.

And, this not the only abortion restriction bill moving in the Ohio Statehouse this session. In fact, in the first few months of this new General Assembly, we have already seen a number of bills that would put lawmakers between a woman and her healthcare, including:

Ohio House Bill 149, expands the crime and increases the penalty for abortion trafficking, despite there being no evidence that any wrongdoing or mishandling of fetal tissue occurs by abortion providers. The House Health Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill earlier this week, but the bill was later removed from the committee schedule.

Ohio House Bill 214, bans abortions based on prenatal genetic testing indicating Down Syndrome. The bill has been assigned to the House Health Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for hearings.

Ohio Senate Bill 28, requires a burial or cremation for aborted fetal tissue. The bill had a hearing in the Senate Government & Oversight Committee in February, but has not been scheduled for another hearing since then.

Ohio Senate Bill 145, bans the most common procedure for abortions in the second trimester. It was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee in early May, and is scheduled for a first hearing on June 13th. UPDATE: Join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and advocates in standing up for abortion access by attending this first hearing on Tuesday, June 13th at 10:15 AM in the Senate North Hearing Room at the Ohio Statehouse. More details here: 

Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive reproductive health care for women, and access to reproductive health care services has a direct impact on the economic security of women and families. The passage of bills chipping away access to abortion, such as HB 258, would be a huge threat to women’s health and economic security in Ohio.

Do you want to help push back against these harmful restrictions?  Contact your state legislators, and urge them to oppose HB 258 and any new abortion restrictions in Ohio. You can use the email form from our partners at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio to send your message by email urging your legislator to oppose and stop HB 258.