Williams and Senate Democrats Oppose Nation's Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill
April 10, 2019
Today, the Ohio legislature gave final approval to the six-week abortion ban, the nation’s most extreme anti-choice bill, sending it to Governor Mike DeWine for his anticipated signature.
“I stand with Ohio women; I trust women to be fully capable of making important, personal decisions,” said state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “I urge my colleagues to work instead on legislation that addresses the real problems of Ohio families: maternal and infant health, affordable health care, child poverty and access to good jobs.”
Republicans in the Ohio Senate approved the House version of the bill, which includes a provision that could require women seeking an abortion to receive transvaginal ultrasounds. Unlike abdominal ultrasounds, these can detect a heartbeat as early as six weeks, when most women don’t even know they’re pregnant. The House version also eliminates a provision affirming the state’s interest in protecting the life and health of women seeking reproductive care.
“Instead of passing bills that help Ohio’s children and advance the quality of life for all people, Republicans are wasting our time and taxpayer resources with this blatantly unconstitutional abortion bill,” said state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “Not only does it defy science, it is inhumane. By not allowing exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother, Republicans are guaranteeing the deaths of women in this state. This is what history has shown us will occur, and we would be foolish to ignore it.”
The bill contains no exceptions for rape and incest and few exceptions for the health of women. It criminalizes medical professionals, punishing doctors who perform abortions with prison time.
“I am deeply disappointed at the continued attacks on women’s health and our ability to make decisions with the help of our doctors,” said state Senator Tina Maharath (D-Columbus). “This bill is dangerous. It’s not good for women and it’s not good for Ohio. I will continue to push for legislation to strengthen and empower our communities, and work against the chipping away of our freedom to make healthy, responsible and individual choices.”
Despite majority public support for upholding Roe v. Wade, the bill was marked as a priority for Senate Republicans earlier this year and moved swiftly through the Ohio House. Ohio lawmakers have fast-tracked the bill in attempt to bait the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and our nation’s longstanding ruling on the constitutionality of abortion. However, two similar bans have recently been blocked by the courts.
“This is bill is unconstitutional and it is political intrusion of the worst kind,” said state Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland). “Lawmakers should stay out of the doctor’s office and should not meddle in situations where women are facing unimaginable pregnancy complications or heart-wrenching loss.”