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Ohio’s Brewing Storm of Anti-Choice Legislation

It seems like every where I look I see articles dedicated to the terrifying mess that is anti-abortion legislation in Texas. There has been enough coverage to make me solemnly swear to never settle down in the country of hot sauce and cowboys. No offense, of course, to any loyal Texans, aka my roommate who hails from the lone star state, Hi Naina! What is generally unknown about Texas, however, is that it garners most of it’s anti-abortion laws from an even stricter and scarier state, Ohio. Ohio’s legislation has avoided public scrutiny and is just now starting to get a little media attention for their growing restrictions on abortion. ThinkProgress is one of the media outlets that has covered Ohio’s frighteningly harsh abortion laws and the coverage is truly shocking.

Ohio’s war against abortion began to gain serious momentum in 2011 when they enacted a law forbidding doctors to perform abortions on fetuses older than 20 weeks. The ban does not distinguish between medical emergencies and general abortion procedures, so many women who may have abnormal pregnancies cannot get the help they need. Plus, most of these problems do not arise until after 20 weeks which either forces the women to go through with the pregnancy anyway or they must seek out of state help. I was completely shocked when I heard this because that forces doctors to refuse to give help to patients who would benefit from an abortion for severe medical reasons.

Of course, this is just the beginning. Texas’s TRAP laws originated from Ohio’s TRAP laws. Ohio’s TRAP law requires abortion clinics to bring their building regulations up to date with ambulatory surgical centers which can be both costly and unrealistic for free abortion clinics. This causes many of them to run out of business because they do have the means to meet these ridiculous standards. The second part requires abortion doctors to enter into an agreement with local hospitals so if there was a serious complication, the patient could be transferred immediately to a local hospital. Ohio makes this LITERALLY impossible by FORBIDDING local hospitals to enter into agreements with abortion clinics. Yes, your jaw should be dropping.

This inevitably leads to the closure of many abortion clinics. In fact, there is a possibility that Ohio may be the first state that has ZERO abortion clinics. This is apparently constitutional according to the President of Ohio Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-choice group, as he says:

““There is no law or court ruling about mileage or length of time to get to a clinic”

Ohio’s silently brewing storm of anti-choice legislation is terrifying, and it’s even scarier that there has been minimal media coverage. Word needs to reach the masses about the possibility of a state having no abortion clinics. This forces doctors to deny their patients the care they need, and for women to consider dangerous methods to get this care. Even worse, huge metropolitan cities such as Cincinnati and Toledo could be void of abortion clinics as well, this is a huge setback. How do you guys feel about Ohio’s new legislation? What do you think we can do to spread the word?


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