On December 12, Ohio state lawmakers voted to pass a bill banning abortions as early as six weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. But Ohio’s antiabortion bill doesn’t just have implications for women in the state—it’s a threat to women’s reproductive rights around the country. The legislation outlines a ban on abortion after the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That’s as early as six weeks, when many women don’t even know they’re pregnant yet.

It’s among the stricter abortion bills to pass in the U.S., considering the fact that it would make abortions illegal even in the case of rape or incest. “This is a real threat to abortion access,” says Gabriel Mann, communications manager for the Ohio chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “It would be a traumatic thing to force women to carry unintended pregnancies to term.” (The bill does allow for exceptions in cases where the woman’s health is threatened to avoid “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”)

If the bill, which has passed in both the state House and Senate, is signed into law by Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, there are two major implications for women’s reproductive rights:

First up, it will make providing an abortion in Ohio a felony, carrying a potential one-year jail sentence for doctors. But opponents are particularly concerned with what the bill means for women. “This bill to ban nearly all abortions in Ohio is part of a larger movement to ban abortion state by state,” says Ghazaleh Moayedi, M.D., a Texas-based ob-gyn and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. Last month Alabama and West Virginia voted to pass similar laws, restricting statewide access to abortion and criminalizing the procedure for physicians.

“When women do not have access to safe, legal abortion nearby, many women will do whatever they can to try to access care,” says Daniel Grossman, M.D., an abortion provider and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. “Some women may travel out of state to access legal services. They may be delayed in the process and end up obtaining the abortion later in pregnancy, which may increase the risks and cost of the procedure.” With that in mind, it’s no surprise abortion bans like this one are especially harsh on women of color, low-income families, and younger women.

Bans like Ohio’s antiabortion “heartbeat bill” challenge abortion rights nationwide. Ohio’s bill previously passed in 2016 but was vetoed by Kasich, who argued it was “clearly contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion.”

So what’s changed? Thanks to Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who expressed antiabortion views during his confirmation hearings, the U.S. Supreme Court now has a conservative majority—and it’s giving supporters of Ohio’s abortion ban reason to get excited. Representative Ron Hood, a Republican state representative, told Cincinnati.com he’s optimistic that the Supreme Court would back Ohio’s ban if challenged. “I am very confident that we would have a favorable ruling,” Hood said.

The bottom line? These statewide bills restricting women’s reproductive rights aren’t just isolated events, Dr. Moayedi says—that’s important to note. “This is something that we see nationally, where these kinds of bills are introduced simultaneously in multiple states,” she explains. “They are very much part of a movement to restrict access through all sorts of avenues and realms.”

In other words, even if you don’t live in Ohio, it’s worth paying attention to—experts on the Supreme Court have suggested that laws like this one that directly contradict Roe v. Wade won’t be uncommon.

Source: https://www.glamour.com/story/what-ohio-new-anti-abortion-bill-means?mbid=social_facebook_ta&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+New+Content+(Feed)&utm_content=5c1dc4d21adf640001e9e1ae&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&verso=true