FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 03, 2023
Abortion Fund of Ohio, [email protected]
Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., [email protected]
Ohio's Statewide Abortion Fund Launches Comprehensive Legal Access Program
Abortion Fund of Ohio Partners with Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., to Combat Rising Criminalization of Ohioans’ Pregnancy Outcomes
Columbus, Ohio – Today, Abortion Fund of Ohio (AFO) launches a comprehensive Legal Access Program for abortion seekers & reproductive healthcare workers. AFO introduces the new service lineup as Ohioans face an onslaught of criminalization for seeking & providing essential reproductive healthcare.
The Legal Access Program—which is now accepting new patient intakes—will provide free, confidential brief legal assistance & referral to pro-bono counsel. The program can provide advice regarding self-managed abortion, young people's access to abortion, and judicial bypass.
The program offers brief legal advice to our community regarding the rapidly changing legal landscape of reproductive health in Ohio, referral to pro-bono counsel and case management for Ohioans facing criminal and civil penalties for reproductive health care, as well as resources, trainings, and education around the intersection of reproductive justice and the law.
People in the following circumstances should reach out to us:
- Ohioans considering or currently seeking an abortion who have legal questions or barriers
- Minors who want or need an abortion but can’t or won’t get parental support or permission.
- Ohioans who have questions about the current status or impact of Ohio abortion laws.
- Ohioans who have been contacted by law enforcement, arrested, or charged with a crime related to their reproductive health choices or outcomes.
- Care or medical providers who have questions about how abortion bans or criminalization will impact their work or licenses.
Reproductive health & legal experts, If/When/How, newly published report shows the rise of criminalization for self-managed abortion (SMA) across the country, despite only 3 states restricting or prohibiting SMA outright. According to the report, Ohio had the second highest number of criminal cases brought against individuals for their pregnancy outcomes, second only to Texas.
Interim Executive Director, Maggie Scotece,
“Ohioans’ right to make unfettered reproductive decisions is once again on the line. While our coalition works concurrently to secure explicit abortion access in Ohio’s constitution, we’re preparing to defend our communities from the senseless attacks from prosecutors & legislators alike.”
“Pregnant individuals are not the only demographic at-risk for criminalization,” “Just like we saw in our suit against Lebanon, there are serious threats to abortion providers, social workers, & reproductive healthcare workers who support them.”
Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C.,
“Our firm is thrilled to be a partner in AFO’s Legal Access Program. Abortion access and legal protections for every individual and organization involved in making abortions accessible are the priority to our firm. We are committed to serve the largest network of individuals through AFO’s extraordinary reach, and we are ready to provide support when called upon.”
The suit Scotece references was recently defeated after Lebanon, Ohio, agreed to amend the ban as outlined by NASW-Ohio, AFO, ACLU of Ohio & Democracy Forward. The amended ban no longer criminalizes people like advocates and social workers for providing assistance to Lebanon residents accessing lawful abortion care outside of Lebanon. Furthermore, the amended law no longer specifically prohibits a wide range of activities, including providing transportation, instructions, money, and “abortion doula” services, including counseling.
Ohioans can request legal assistance from Abortion Fund of Ohio’s Legal Access Program through an online intake or by phone at 614-799-2843. Abortion seekers in need of practical or financial support can contact AFO via website or by phone at (614) 300-7811.
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Abortion Fund of Ohio is a 501(c)3 organization, providing financial assistance and practical support to help patients afford contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion services. Since 1992, AFO has granted millions to individuals & abortion clinics to make reproductive healthcare access a reality.
Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., is an Ohio based firm with a national impact. The firm represents individuals across the country in both complex criminal and civil matters. The firm is guided by the principle that all people are entitled to equal and just treatment under the law.