Last week, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to remove the federal constitutional right to abortion and give the power to restrict or ban abortion to states. The ruling overturns a half-century of Supreme Court precedent established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“This decision marks the largest reversal of women’s personal privacy rights in the history of the United States.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling strips women of our bodily autonomy and dignity, and completely alters what it means to be a woman or girl in America today. Eliminating the right to abortion doesn’t stop abortions – it only serves to stop safe abortions and is particularly oppressive to Black, impoverished, and working-class women. Forcing a woman to give birth is traumatizing and inhumane, especially for those who are pregnant as a result of abuse.
“Politicians have no place getting involved in such a personal decision that should be left to the individual and their health care provider. Unfortunately, Republicans’ crusade to pass legislation that the majority of Ohioans oppose is a testament to the undemocratic and cruel ideology of their party. Thanks to the supermajority power they hoard through gerrymandering, Ohio is becoming a dangerous and intolerant state. We must do everything in our power to change the direction of our state.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling means Ohio will seek to reinstate its “heartbeat bill,” passed by the General Assembly in 2019. The legislation outlaws abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – which can be as early as six weeks after conception, often before most women are aware they are pregnant. Health care professionals have testified that the bill would restrict their autonomy to provide what can be lifesaving care in certain circumstances. Doctors who violate this law by performing an abortion after detecting a heartbeat would face a fifth-degree felony and up to a year in prison. The State Medical Board could also take disciplinary action against doctors and impose penalties of up to $20,000.
A 2019 Quinnipiac University poll found that 52% of Ohioans opposed the legislation.
Governor Mike DeWine has also signaled he would support legislation currently being considered by the General Assembly to ban all abortions in Ohio with no exceptions for rape or incest. A Gallup poll conducted in May found that 85 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal under all or certain circumstances.