Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed a bill into law that will restrict abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable or if the woman’s life is endangered. The bill does not include an exception for instances of rape and incest. Doctors who break this law could face arrest or have their medical licenses revoked.
Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, stated, “This is a big deal, in that it could have a real chilling effect on later abortions because there’s a potential to be thrust into the court system for providing an abortion after viability. It would be a huge burden for a provider to go through all of that and have to hire a lawyer to prove that you provided an abortion under the law.”
Ohio joins 39 other states with late-term abortion limits, including seven states that passed similar legislation: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. Since January, the Ohio legislature has taken up eight other abortion related bills.