Since 2011, Ohio abortion opponents have enacted 17 restrictions to limit access to abortion services. When did the “right to life” become the right to shame, pressure and punish Ohio women?
Ohio laws shame women.
Instead of empowering women to make decision about their own bodies, Ohio lawmakers shame women by continually introducing legislation that makes it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion:
- Ohio requires abortion providers to file an “abortion report” for each woman, including private information about her marital status, level of education, number of previous abortions, number of children…the list goes on.
- This legislation subjects women seeking abortions to invasive and unnecessary questions about their personal, private medical history and information.
Laws like this one perpetuate the culture of shame and silence around abortion.
Ohio laws pressure women.
Current laws in Ohio require abortion providers to give women government-printed materials that encourage them to seek other options rather than proceed with an abortion.
This state-mandated script forces a doctor or counselor to:
- Tell a woman that abstinence is the most successful way to prevent pregnancy and instruct her to convince her partner to agree.
- Instruct a woman to avoid sex during fertile times
- Share information about fetal development at various points in pregnancy
- Give information about options other than abortion.
Ohio laws punish women.
Ohio legislators have enacted numerous obstacles to abortion care in Ohio. As a result:
- A woman is forced to undergo a mandatory 24-hour waiting periods, requiring two clinic visits
- A woman is forced to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound 24 hours before the abortion, to be performed by the doctor who will perform the abortion
- A woman must be given the option to listen to see or listen to the fetal heartbeat
- Medically unnecessary regulations on clinics have forced many clinics to close, requiring women to drive long distances to access care
- A woman can’t use public insurance plans like Medicaid or insurance purchased on the exchange to pay for abortion.
- A woman can’t get an abortion in a public hospital.