FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—JUNE 24, 2022
Sam Woodring (she/her); Women Have Options Ohio;
Ohio’s Statewide Abortion Fund Condemns Reinstatement of Ohio’s 6-Week Abortion Ban
Women Have Options Tells Ohioans: Abortion After Six Weeks is Banned, But We Are Still Here
COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 24, 2022)—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) completely overturned the precedent protecting the legal right to abortion under both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health requested that a stay be lifted on an injunction currently preventing Ohio’s 2019 6-week abortion ban from taking effect. Moments ago, a judge granted this request, meaning that abortion following the detection of fetal heart tones is banned.
The 6-week abortion ban—often misleadingly termed the “Heartbeat Bill”—was passed as Senate Bill 23 (SB 23), which outlaws abortion as early as five or six weeks of gestation. At that point, most individuals don’t know they’re pregnant—it would be mere days following a missed period. The vast majority of abortion seekers logistically could not schedule an appointment within this window, effectively restricting in-state abortion access to almost nothing.
The ban—after being enacted in April 2019—was swiftly challenged by our partners at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (ACLU of Ohio) who brought suit against the state on behalf of Pre-Term Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGO), Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio (PPSWO) and the Women's Med Center of Dayton (WMCD). Since July 2019, the ban was stayed under an injunction, which has granted crucial abortion access to patients in Ohio.
As Ohioans, we’re enraged that our so-called leadership is working overtime to restrict our right bodily autonomy. Our state has been plagued by countless horrors, yet the first time they’ve taken immediate action is to eliminate safe, in-state access to crucial healthcare. Countless studies tell us that abortion bans only work to harm the health of pregnant folks, their families, and our communities at large. As a health department—one who is supposedly committed to the health and wellbeing of all Ohioans—ODH should truly be ashamed of their actions.
“Abortion funds are still working & legal in the state, & we’ll continue helping Ohioans access care. Now more than ever, our abortion fund and independent clinics will need the support of our entire state, ensuring that every single Ohioan can access the care they need. Donate to your local abortion fund, sign up to volunteer, and make your story known. We will not be going anywhere. Abortion—at its core—is love and community care.” says WHO/O Interim Executive Director Maggie Scotece.
We have absolutely no intention of halting our work. When announcing news of the ban to attendees at ComFest, WHO/O Board Chair, Jordyn Close noted that “You’ll see us in the streets and in the courts.”
Right now, our work as an abortion fund is still legal and unfettered. We are asking Ohioans to support local funds like ourselves, the Cleveland-based fund & clinic Pre-Term, and the Toledo-based Aggie Reynolds Fund. We will fight tooth and nail to ensure ALL Ohioans can access abortion, whether that be in state or elsewhere.
We urge Ohioans to donate to their local abortion fund. If you need help accessing abortion, we are here. Ohioans can reach out via website or our warmline at (614) 300-7811.
# # #
Women Have Options Ohio (WHO/O) is a 501(c)3 organization that provides financial assistance and practical support to help patients afford contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion services. Since 1992, WHO has helped thousands pay for their reproductive choices. If you need help accessing abortion care, please contact us here. If you would like to help someone access abortion care, you can contribute monthly or as a one-time gift.