The Ohio Senate [official website] voted 24-9 [voter breakdown] Wednesday to approve SB 145 [materials], a bill the criminalizes a common second-trimester abortion procedure. The bill specifically targets [Cleveland.com report] dilation and evacuation (D&E) which is usually performed after the twelfth week of pregnancy. During a D&E a woman’s cervix is dilated and the fetus is removed with suction and surgical instruments. Should the bill be enacted, it will leave Ohio women [ToledoBlade report] with few options for terminating their pregnancy after the first trimester. One option, medically induced labor, has much higher risks associated with it and was performed fewer than 10 times in Ohio in 2015 as opposed to 2,591 D&E procedures carried out in the same year. The bill has exemptions for women whose lives are in danger due to health risks, but it has no exceptions for pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest. Many fear that women will seek out more dangerous options after the bill is implemented. The Ohio House of Representatives [official website] will vote on the bill after returning from summer recess.
Abortion has been a recent issue since President Donald Trump vowed to appoint a Supreme Court justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade. On Tuesday the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] upheld [JURIST report] a San Francisco ordinance that was implemented to halt deceptive advertising tactics employed by clinics opposed to abortion. Earlier this month the Supreme Court of Georgia [official website] issued a landmark ruling [JURIST report], holding that the state is immune from litigation unless it consents to being sued, rejecting a challenge to a 20-week abortion ban. Also in June the Delaware legislature approved a bill [JURIST report] that guarantees access to abortion. The same day, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a series of abortion regulations into law [JURIST report]. In May Trump’s administration announced [JURIST report] plans to expand the so-called Mexico City Policy blocking international family planning assistance through the US Agency for International Development to any groups or programs that provide abortion or abortion education to women. Also in May Trump signed [JURIST report] a bill into law that scales back an Obama administration regulation that protected certain federal funds for organizations that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood [advocacy website]. In February the US House of Representatives approved a bill [JURIST report] that would overturn the Obama administration’s rule prohibiting states from denying federal funding to Planned Parenthood and passed a bill [JURIST op-ed] that makes permanent restrictions on federal funding abortion. In February the Pennsylvania Senate approved SB 3 [JURIST report], putting Pennsylvania in line to become the seventeenth state to pass a bill banning abortions past 20 weeks.