CINCINNATI — Just hours after the U.S. Supreme court overruled Roe v. Wade on Friday, Ohio banned abortions after six weeks through a bill signed by Governor Mike DeWine.
On Tuesday, during a press conference to address HB99, which DeWine also signed, Democrat opponent Nan Whaley said if elected she plans to work to change the heartbeat bill.
"It makes women less safe and it will affect our ability to have economic opportunity in this state, because tell me what 20-40-year-old woman wants to life in a state where she can't get full healthcare," said Whaley.
She also pointed to a new bill, introduced by Loveland representative Jean Schmidt, that would make abortion illegal at conception and would criminalize abortions for anyone who promotes, has or performs an abortion.
"(DeWine) wants to go as far as possible to make abortion illegal, including in the cases of rape or incest and he wants to criminalize abortion, that's what's happening right now," said Whaley. "The bill moving forward in the statehouse does just that — it does not have exceptions for rape or incest and it also even bans in vitro fertilization."
Under House Bill 598, penalties include a minimum of four to seven years and a maximum of 25 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000 for abortion manslaughter and a minimum of one-half to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500 for criminal abortion.
A majority of Ohioans are "pro-choice," or in favor of abortion rights, Whaley said, despite DeWine's support for and signing of the heartbeat bill, which officially passed in 2019 before being blocked by a federal judge. The bill became law once the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade.