Ohio: Tell Your State Lawmakers to Stop Attacks on Reproductive Rights!

July 22, 2013

It has been a record-breaking year for legislative attacks on reproductive rights across the nation — and now the assault has begun on the women of Ohio.

Last month, Gov. John Kasich signed into law a budget bill that contains some of the country’s most egregious restrictions on women’s access to reproductive health care.

The two-year budget bill cuts $1.4 million for Planned Parenthood and blocks funding for any rape victim support center that gives its clients information about abortion services. It provides $5 million for more than 125 state “crisis pregnancy centers,” which are notorious for advancing pseudoscience and Christian dogma, and forbids these centers from referring women to abortion clinics. It also bans public hospitals from entering into patient transfer agreements with abortion clinics. And this is just a summary — you can read more about the bill here.

Shockingly, many Ohio lawmakers don’t think the budget bill went far enough. Now they want to pass into law House Bill 200, which would:

  • Require doctors to lie to women and tell them that fetuses and embryos can feel pain and that women who have abortions face an increased risk of breast cancer, neither of which is supported by scientific evidence (read more on the science of fetal pain | read more on the science of abortion and breast cancer).
  • Require doctors to tell patients seeking abortions in writing how much money they earn and how much income they would lose by not performing abortions.
  • Extend the waiting period for abortions from 24 to 48 hours.
  • Eliminate “medical necessity” — defined as a medical condition that complicates the pregnancy enough to warrant an immediate abortion — as a reason to waive the waiting period; and allow a waiver only for a “medical emergency” — redefined in the bill as a condition that would result in the woman’s death without an abortion, as opposed to one that presents a serious risk to her life or health.

Doctors who do not follow the law could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.

These proposals are outrageous and unacceptable. They clearly violate almost 40 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence. The Court has held consistently — in Roe v. Wade (1973), Doe v. Bolton (1973), and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) — that the U.S. Constitution provides women with the right to choose whether to have an abortion at any point prior to fetal viability. They also are unsupported by scientific evidence and incompatible with logic, reason, and the basic human values of fairness and decency.

Write your elected officials right today and insist that women have the right to make their own reproductive choices without interference from politicians!

Take action now!