September 27, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today the Supreme Court of Ohio heard oral arguments in Preterm-Cleveland v. David Yost, a case brought by Ohio abortion providers challenging Senate Bill 23, the state government’s extreme law criminalizing abortion care after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant. Now that the court has heard this case, it could rule at any time to put the government's extreme abortion ban back into effect.

Following oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Ohio representatives from Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights issued the following statements and addressed local reporters. If Issue 1 fails in November, government will have the power to enforce Ohio’s extreme abortion ban, a ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. 

The following statement is from Dr. Mae Winchester, obstetrician-gynecologist and specialist in maternal-fetal medicine for Preterm-Cleveland: 

“For more than 80 days, Ohioans were subjected to devastating trauma due to Ohio’s extreme abortion ban. Patients’ lives were put at risk, healthcare was delayed or denied, and Ohioans were even forced to flee our state to get the care they needed. We cannot go back.  

“The consequences of Ohio’s abortion ban being in effect last summer were wide-spread and severe. Ohioans — like Beth and Kyle, a couple from right here in Columbus — were forced to leave their community and cross state lines in order to end a non-viable pregnancy that threatened Beth’s life. These tragic stories are the reality of extreme abortion bans. 

“The vast majority of Ohioans agree that women should have the right to make these private medical decisions along with their doctors and family, not government. Vote Yes on Issue 1 in November.”

The following statement is from Lauren Blauvelt, spokesperson for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights: 

“Ohioans deserve the right to make decisions around pregnancy, including abortion. We learned last year that abortion access is just one court ruling away from being outlawed, again — even in cases of rape or incest. We must protect our right to abortion access on multiple fronts - in courtrooms and at the ballot box. 

“Ohioans should be in charge of making health care decisions for ourselves and our families, not government. While attorneys fight this extreme ban in court, Ohioans can fight the dangerous ban by voting Yes on Issue 1 in November to ensure that abortion rights are clearly protected in our state constitution.”