COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Should the U.S. Supreme Court find abortion unconstitutional, abortions would automatically be banned in Ohio under nearly all conditions, including in cases of rape and incest, under newly proposed state Senate legislation.
The only exception would be if a doctor determined the abortion was needed to save a pregnant woman’s life or protect her from serious harm.
Known as an abortion “trigger” bill, the legislation is sponsored by GOP Sens. Kristina Roegner and Sandra O’Brien. Ten other states have similar laws in effect, with an Oklahoma bill set to become law Nov. 1, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group.
The new Ohio legislation is similar to House bills proposed in the last General Assembly.
The Senate bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest because “morning after” pills are available and not covered by the legislation, Roegner said. “That’s not an abortion — that’s preventing a pregnancy,” she said.
Sen. Cecil Thomas, a Cincinnati Democrat, questioned whether a complete abortion ban would lead to the deaths of women who seek illegal and dangerous abortions. Roegner said that no one wants to see women die but that the lives of “unborn innocent children” must also be considered.
On Tuesday, opponents of the legislation rallied inside the Statehouse and briefly entered the Senate chamber as its session was wrapping up.