Ohio Judge Blocks 6-Week Abortion Ban: Here's What's Next

Yesterday afternoon, a Hamilton County judge blocked Ohio’s 6-week abortion ban, returning abortion legality through 21 weeks from last menstrual period (LMP) across the state. 

According to a joint release from several of Ohio’s clinics & the ACLU of Ohio, the plaintiffs have requested the block on the ban be extended through the duration of the case. It’s unlikely that this request is granted or denied prior to the final days of the 14-day block. You can read the full release & find the latest updates from our friends at the ACLU of Ohio.

Is abortion legal in Ohio? 

Since the law is currently blocked from being enforced, abortion clinics can now provide abortions through 21 weeks & 6 days from a person’s last menstrual period. This particular number comes from Ohio law previously enacted before the passage of the 6-week ban.

This is a HUGE win, even if only temporary! Under the 6-week ban, approximately 90% of abortions were blocked in the state. In comparison, about ~1% of abortions occur at or after 21 weeks in the US. While a ban at ANY limit is despicable, this block will provide significant relief to Ohioans needing abortion care. 

Are Ohio’s abortion clinics open?

Ohio’s abortion clinics—particularly our independent abortion clinics—have struggled to keep their doors open among a barrage of barriers and bans these past several years. 

Women’s Medical Center - Dayton was set to close after 9.15, but now will reopen this coming week to serve patients. For many clinics, blocked bans could mean keeping operations running & retaining staff while providing essential services to their community. 

Clinic scheduling, availability, and restrictions may vary, so be sure to check with your local clinic on how long they can provide care & when they’ll begin scheduling patients.

Will this impact abortion access in the midwest?

Though Ohio’s ban has been temporarily stalled, our neighbors in Indiana & West Virginia both have near-total abortion bans taking effect this week. With Kentucky still operating under a total ban, Ohio will likely see a surge of folks traveling from out of state to receive care during this temporary block.

Abortion Fund of Ohio can support both Ohioans & folks traveling to Ohio with abortion access. We have dedicate patient navigation staff, volunteers, and financial support to help put abortion in reach. 

Can I get an abortion in Ohio?

Patients seeking abortion can now remain in state if there procedure would fall before 21 weeks & 6 days gestation. This is determined by the patient’s last menstrual period (LMP). Abortion clinics will likely be EXTREMELY BUSY over the next two weeks, so it’s crucial that abortion seekers schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Clinics ask that if you need to cancel your appointment — for example, if you found an earlier appointment or one closer to home — you give the clinic as much notice as possible so they can provide that slot to another patient. Providers are doing their best to serve as many folks as possible during this time, so please be kind & understanding to staff!

If there are additional barriers to accessing care — such as childcare, transportation, accessibility, or other practical care & costs — you can reach out both through your clinic or through Abortion Fund of Ohio for assistance. You can begin AFO’s intake process by going online to our help page or calling our warmline at 614-300-7811. As a note, this line is a return system only, meaning you will need to leave a voicemail to receive a call back! 

How can I support abortion access in Ohio?

Though abortion legality has been temporarily expanded, this doesn’t necesarrily equate to access. Many folks who need abortion will not have access to it, whether it’s an inability to take off work, pay for the procedure & associated costs, or get necessary transportation to their appointments.

Though it’s not the most exciting answer, the most influential thing you can do in this moment is donate to & or fundraise for abortion funds. 

You can contribute to Abortion Fund of Ohio either as a one-time gift or as a recurring donation. If you already have a recurring donation set up with AFO & you need to change payment info, update amount, or cancel it, we now have a self-service supporter portal!

You can learn about fundraising for AFO on our website here.


Abortion Fund of Ohio