Abortions Banned in Ohio After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

pregnancy test
by J.D. Davidson


Ohio’s fetal heartbeat law, on hold since 2019 when a federal judge blocked it, is now law following Friday’s historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Federal Judge Michael Barrett lifted the preliminary injunction that had stopped the state from enforcing the heartbeat bill passed and signed into law in 2019. Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order to allow the Ohio Department of Health to immediately adopt rules established in the bill.

“Even though Ohioans may disagree with each other on the issue of abortion, I do believe that there is common ground and essential goals that Ohioans share when it comes to children and families,” DeWine said in a public address following the Roe ruling Friday. “I believe that all Ohioans want this state to be the most pro-family, pro-child state in the country, and we are making great progress in creating an environment here in Ohio where families and children can thrive and live up to their full potential.”

The law makes abortion illegal in Ohio after a fetus heartbeat can be detected, which is usually five or six weeks after conception. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

“Turning women’s health into a political and legal playground and making abortion a crime will drive away leading businesses, good jobs and widespread economic prosperity for all Ohioans,” said House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington. “Republicans imposing their own cruel and extreme political views on the state will make Ohio a dangerous and insecure place to put down roots, start a family and have a good quality of life. Ohio Democrats won’t stop investing in our children and families, just like we won’t stop fighting to protect your fundamental freedom to control your own body, life, and future.”

Before Ohio’s injunction was lifted, the state allowed abortion up to 20 weeks.

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have laws or constitutional provisions protecting abortion, according to reports published by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

One report identifies 22 states that have legalized abortion through passing new laws, or by state statute or constitution. Another lists 11 states whose constitutions protect abortion. Both reports include overlap of some states, but combined, a total of 24 states and the District of Columbia have legalized abortion rights.

Ohio House Bill 598 and Senate Bill 123 would serve as “trigger bans,” according to House sponsor Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, that would make it a crime for someone to purposely cause or induce an abortion by an instrument or drug.

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J.D. Davidson is regular contributor to The Center Square. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.


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