CINCINNATI — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade paving the way for states to make abortion illegal.
In a 6-3 decision, SCOTUS sided with the conservatives in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the sole abortion provider in Mississippi, who sued Thomas Dobbs, the state’s chief health officer. The clinic sued in 2020 after legislation passed that would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
The ruling wasn't a shock to many because someone leaked a SCOTUS draft opinion in May that suggested the judges on the high court would overturn it.
Abortion was previously protected in the constitution thanks to the 1973 ruling. Because of "trigger laws", abortion will be outlawed immediately in four states including Kentucky.
Right now, what remaining states define as legal abortion varies slightly. There's also a lot of legislation in the works in an attempt by lawmakers to limit when, where and how women can get access to abortion services.
Here's a breakdown of where the Tri-State stands:
In 2019, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a trigger law that requires the state to immediately stop abortion services if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.
Now that the ban has gone into effect, people wanting to get an abortion will need to travel out of state. Virginia and Illinois would be Kentucky's only neighbors that will continue to allow mostly unrestricted abortion services.
Shortly after the SCOTUS decision, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a motion to dissolve the injunction on Ohio's six-week abortion ban, referred to as the "heartbeat bill." He tweeted at 6 p.m. "The Heartbeat Bill is now the law."
The ban first hit the Ohio legislature in 2011. It didn’t pass then, but similar legislation surrounding abortion restrictions appeared and passed in the Republican supermajority state.
The Ohio General Assembly last saw the six-week bill in 2019. DeWine signed the bill into law later that year, making abortion illegal after the fetus's "heartbeat" can be detected, which conservatives say is usually between five or six weeks into the pregnancy. This is before the majority of people know they are pregnant. A federal judge blocked this bill temporarily.
The Human Life Protection Act, House Bill 598, is in the works. It would completely criminalize abortion without exemptions for rape and incest. The bill states it would make an exemption for saving the life of the pregnant person. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jean Schmidt, is a Republican from Loveland.
In May 2021, The City of Lebanon's city council voted on an abortion ban. There are no abortion providers in Warren County. However, this bill would outlaw clinics from coming to Lebanon. Doctors who perform the procedure could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.
Additional anti-abortion legislation
DeWine signed the "Born Alive" bill in December 2021. It imposes criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care in the extremely rare circumstance when a baby is born alive following an abortion attempt.
According to the Ohio Legislature, Senate Bill 260 was signed into law in April 2021. It essentially bans the use of telemedicine for the purpose of providing abortion-inducing drugs.
Abortion in Indiana is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, according to a New York Times roundup of abortion restrictions in all 50 states. According to a 2020 report from the state, women got abortions at 12 Indiana providers. The closest abortion clinics to the Tri-State are in the Indianapolis area.
In a statement, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he expects the General Assembly to address abortion during a special session on July 6.