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Ohio introduces “trigger law” which would ban abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned

by | Mar 17, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Columbus, Ohio—State Rep. Jean Schmidt has introduced House Bill 598, a companion bill to Senate Bill 123, that would ban abortion in the state of Ohio, except those medically necessary to save the life of the mother. “The legislation would not take effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision that overturns Roe v. Wade and allows states to prohibit abortion,” according to Ohio Right to Life. The Ohio House’s version of the “Human Life Protection Act” awaits committee referral.

Coincidentally, yesterday Gov. Mark Gordon signed HB 92, making Wyoming the 13th state to enact a so-called “trigger law” which would take effect when the Supreme Court overturns its Roe decision.

HB 92 states that an abortion “shall not be performed, except when necessary to preserve the woman from a serious risk of death or of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including any psychological or emotional conditions.”

“With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, there is renewed hope that states will once again be able to outlaw abortion and protect the most vulnerable in our society,” said Schmidt. “I’ve been dedicated to protecting unborn children my whole career. This legislation will ensure that Ohio is prepared to take action when the opportunity arrives.”

Ohio Right to Life voiced its full support for House Bill 598. “With a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court coming as early as this June, we are doing everything possible to prepare for a post-Roe Ohio,” said Mary Parker, Director of Legislative Affairs at Ohio Right to Life. “This companion bill will help expedite the legislative process to get the bill to Governor Mike DeWine. Additionally, we are working with our chapters and other pro-life organizations to empower women and families to choose life when faced with a crisis pregnancy.”

State Sen. Kristina Roegner and Sen. Sandra O’Brien introduced Senate Bill 123, the companion bill to HB 598.

“O’Brien argued during hearings in the Senate Health Committee that the overturning of Roe v. Wade merely brings the question of abortion bans from the federal U.S. Supreme Court to individual state legislators across the country,” according to Susan Tebben.

Naturally, state pro-abortion groups adamantly oppose the legislation. “The majority of Ohioans believe we should be able to access legal abortion, but time and time again these politicians are more concerned about themselves,” Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy, said in a statement. “Ohioans deserve legislators who listen to them and keep their communities safe.” 

Laura A. Bischoff of The Columbus Dispatch reported,  “Ohio women aborted 20,605 pregnancies in 2020, a 2.5% increase over the prior year, according to the a new report released  by the Ohio Department of Health.”

Categories: State Legislation
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