The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio spoke out against a pair of bills that would unconstitutionally restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare. Senate Bill 127 would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and a newly added provision of House Bill 493 would ban abortions as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. Both bills are moving through the legislature at the end of the session.

“These last-minute legislative maneuvers leave almost no opportunity for public input, and Ohioans deserve better than that. Laws on important issues like access to healthcare should be carefully deliberated, not rushed through the legislature in the dead of night,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy director.

“Bans at different points in pregnancy block a woman from getting the care she needs when she needs it.  Already, Ohio politicians have passed laws designed to close clinics and delay a woman who has made the decision to end a pregnancy.  Now these same politicians are attempting to ban abortion outright, which would have a devastating effect on a woman who needs access to this care.  It's simple: a woman's health should drive important decisions throughout her pregnancy, without interference from politicians,” added Brickner.

SB 127 is expected to pass out of the House Community and Family Advancement Committee late and then may be passed by the full House as early as Dec. 7.

The six-week ban was amended into HB 493 and passed by the Senate and House on Dec. 6 without opportunity for public comment. It now goes to Governor John Kasich.

“Bans such as these only hurt women and their families and waste taxpayer dollars by defending laws that federal courts have routinely declared unconstitutional. Governor Kasich should veto any bill that infringes upon reproductive freedom,” concluded Brickner.