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Many New Ohio Laws Make Abortion More Difficult
With John R. Kasich becoming the governor of Ohio in 2011, the Republican tone was set for its conservative agenda, and it has since become a testing ground for seeing how much legislation could push back against Roe and Wade to make abortion practice as difficult as possible.
After all, the Supreme Court did not set specific guidelines on the matter: Ohio has therefore made it lawful that a clinic must offer women who wish to abort their fetus a chance to view an ultrasound or hear a heart beat. Lawmakers elsewhere don’t even want such options to be optional.
Further laws have required counseling for women before they get an abortion, and a waiting period before they may use medication-induced methods, a preferred method for many women.
Opponents to such legislation, “abortion rights” advocates, say that such obstacles to abortion are cruel and impose guilt on women who already are facing a tough decision, and who even have to walk past demonstrators to enter the clinic.
“In Ohio, the last few years have been fantastic if you support the pro-life movement,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, as reported by the New York Times. “We’ve been able to craft pro-life laws that can withstand court scrutiny.”
“If you can’t outlaw abortion outright, just make it harder and harder to get,” said Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm, an abortion clinic. “They say they’re doing this to protect women’s health, but some of the laws are actually harmful, and some are just cruel.”
Further legislation required abortion clinics to secure a formal transfer agreement with nearby hospitals for emergency care, a stipulation that could lead three clinics to close down for lack of willing partners.
Other fresh laws would bar abortions beyond 22nd weeks, if not sooner, seeking ultimately to bar abortions for every viable fetus, except to save the mother’s life. Naturally, those who regard abortion as a right look at such laws as an imposition.
Overall, abortions have declined overall, including in Ohio, but whether these laws are part of the reason for the decline, that is still disputed.