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Ohio Becomes Fifth State to Pass Six Week Abortion Ban

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Ohio Becomes Fifth State to Pass Six Week Abortion BanPhoto via Women Have Options - Ohio.
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Gov. Mike DeWine has signed SB 23, a ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The law, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, will take effect in 90 days.

“Today and everyday, we will not accept barriers placed on abortion access by politicians or judges. We refuse to be intimidated by shame and stigma. No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will. None of us will have reproductive freedom until all of us do,” said Kellie Copeland, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director, in a statement. “Governor DeWine, we’ll see you in court.”

If it survives court, the six week ban would make it a felony for abortion providers to perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected; they’d also face a $10,000 fine. Per the law, clinics are also encouraged to use an invasive transvaginal ultrasound, which can often detect a fetal heartbeat sooner than an external ultrasound.

Ohio has become the fifth state to outlaw abortions after six weeks, alongside Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. Georgia passed a six week ban in March, and Gov. Brian Kemp has until May 10 to sign it. The surge in state abortion bans is an attempt by state legislatures to take the abortion debate to the Supreme Court, where conservatives believe they have the majority they need to overturn Roe v Wade.

“If pro-abortion lobbies present a legal challenge to this Act, we will defend these babies all the way up to the Supreme Court,” said Mark Harrington, President of Created Equal, in a press release. “Changes on the bench signify an even better day for preborn babies may be on the horizon.”

Ohio’s seven surgical abortion clinics, as well as two providers offering medication abortion services, will remain open. 

For more information on the six week ban, view the bill here.

For a list of Ohio’s abortion providers, visit prochoiceohio.org/issues/abortion-clinics.

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