FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—JUNE 24, 2022
Sam Woodring (she/her); Women Have Options Ohio;
Ohio’s Statewide Abortion Fund Denounces SCOTUS’s Dismantlement of Roe v. Wade
Women Have Options Ohio (WHO/O) Reminds Ohioans: Abortion is Still Legal in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 24, 2022)—This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released its final opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, completely dismantling the precedent that protected the legal right to abortion under both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
This day and decision will be cauterized in the hearts of advocates and the general public alike—the news of this momentous step backwards comes with so much rage, but also intense grief. Millions across the country are watching as their rights to their own body shrink, a decision that inevitably stigmatizes the millions who have had abortions and the millions more who will need them.
Despite the fall of Roe this morning, abortion is still legal in Ohio. Ohio’s legislature is working to change that reality with HB 598, but as of today, June 15, 2022, abortion is still legal, and care is still available in-state. WHO/O reminds folks that clinics are open, medication abortion (with use of FDA-approved pills, Mifepristone & Misoprostol) remains legal, safe, and effective, and WHO/O is here to support patients with any financial or practical supports that they may need. If you currently have an appointment with a care provider, assume that this appointment is still happening unless your provider tells you otherwise. Canceling your appointment can delay critical care, increasing your wait time and cost of treatment.
Chair of WHO/O’s Board of Directors & abortion storyteller, Jordyn Close says, “In the coming days and weeks, we’ll hear from politicians, organizations, and others who claim our system of governance is broken. The stark reality is that it’s functioning exactly as intended. Abled-bodied, wealthy, white, cis-gendered women will have no issue crossing state lines to access care if needed. Historically oppressed folks will bear the brunt of this decision. Forced pregnancies will inevitably lead to increased maternal mortality rates, poverty, and limit folks’ choice of if, when, and how to have children. This decision is in direct contradiction to our human rights and the mission of Reproductive Justice as defined by Black-led feminist organization, Sister Song.”
Interim Executive Director, Maggie Scotece, notes “I am enraged with the actions of not only SCOTUS, but our government at-large. All abortion bans are part of the intertwined systems of oppression that deny Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color access to their rights and are rooted in anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and other forms of discrimination. Right now, we’re calling on Ohioans to spread the message that abortions is still legal in Ohio. WHO/O, alongside local and national organizers and activists will continue fighting towards liberation. Grassroots fundraising, community support, and public action will be crucial, not just for abortion funds like WHO/O but also for clinics and the patients they serve. To Ohioans feeling every color of outrage and grief and fear—know that you are not alone, and our communities aren’t going anywhere, now or ever.”
WHO/O is a founding member of a network of abortion funds across the country that have prepared for this constitutional rollback for years. When abortion becomes illegal in Ohio, WHO/O will field massive increases in funding requests from patients for whom abortion will no longer be financially or logistically accessible.
In Ohio, the state legislature’s newest attack on our bodily autonomy comes in the form of House Bill 598, which would ban abortion in all cases, and it would ensure that performing an abortion becomes a first-degree felony. The bill, if enacted, would also prohibit the manufacturing and sale of medications and devices intended for use in abortions, prohibit promoting abortion, and criminalize individuals who safely self-manage their abortions. Senate President, Matt Huffman, stated intent to pass HB 598 through the Senate after the SCOTUS decision is handed down. Huffman is also a volunteer at his mother’s Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), which are state-funded, false clinics that deceive, stigmatize, and delay care for pregnant people in attempts to prevent abortions.
HB 598 is just one of many bills attacking Ohioans’ fundamental rights. WHO/O stands in solidarity with queer and transgender Ohioans & whose rights were grounded in our right to abortion that was upheld for over 50 years in Roe v. Wade. Bills progressing through the General Assembly like HB 454—a ban against gender-affirming care—and HB 616—the infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ and anti-Critical Race Theory bill—are now even graver threats. WHO/O stands united with our partner organizations as they organize against blatantly transphobic, racist, and homophobic legislation and the cultural attitudes that created them.
WHO/O anticipates requests for service to double this summer, especially given that one-way travel distances could increase tenfold depending on bans enacted in our neighboring states. This SCOTUS decision will harm thousands of Ohioans who will be blocked from receiving care as a direct result, but its impacts will also be felt within communities that will be forever changed by this lack of care. There are not words strong enough to represent our collective pain, anger, and deeply rooted indignation. Contribute to abortion funds. Speak out against oppressive legislation. Organize for better. Take time today to show yourself, your neighbors, and your community some love.
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.