Reproductive Freedom Legislation

HB 69 – Six Week Abortion Ban (2015-2016)

Link to Bill:

Read our opposition testimony

HB 69, commonly known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” bans abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

Doctors who perform an abortion after detection will be guilty of a fifth degree felony. Abortions are only permitted if there is risk of death or a “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

A woman is required to sign a form acknowledging she has received information that the “unborn human individual” has a fetal heartbeat and that she is aware of the statistical probability of bringing her pregnancy to term. Doctors must then declare in writing why an abortion was performed and record and report this information.

HB 69 defines contraceptive as “a drug, device, or chemical that prevents conception.” Additionally, the bill defines conception as “fertilization.”

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Secondary Sponsors:
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Community and Family Advancement (H), Health and Human Services (S)
LSC Legislation Status:
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Our take on this bill:

The ACLU of Ohio strongly opposes this bill as it is political interference in a woman’s most personal, private medical decisions.

HB 69 will ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, eliminating a full range of medical options before a woman may even know she is pregnant.

Additionally, the bill’s narrow definition of conception as fertilization could potentially have the greatest effect on rape and incest victims, by preventing these and all other women from accessing contraceptives at a time when they need it most. If the bill is used to prevent access to the morning after pill, it could actually result in more unwanted pregnancies and consequently, more abortions.

Instead of allowing a woman to exercise her autonomy and to decide for herself what is in her best interest, this bill decides for her. Legislators should not deny a woman basic healthcare because they disagree with her decision.

Bill Status:

2/17/15 Introduced in the House

3/10/15 ACLU Opposition Testimony

3/25/15 Passed out of the House Community and Family Advancement Committee

3/25/15 Passed the House

4/14/15 Assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee