May 21, 2024

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Abortion in Ohio illegal if Supreme Court overturns abortion rights

Demonstrators gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 3 after a draft opinion was leaked that indicated Roe v. Wade would be overturned after nearly 50 years.

If Ohio outlaws abortion, pregnant women seeking to terminate unwanted pregnancies would have to travel to other states for services.

Depending on how Ohio elected officials respond to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Americans will see a handful of states where abortion is protected and scores of states where it is outlawed. That means women with financial resources will be able to travel to access services while low income women will not.

Ohioans seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy may be forced to travel to Illinois, New York or Maryland where laws are in place protecting it.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, states surrounding Ohio are already “hostile” toward abortion services:

  • Michigan: While the current governor supports abortion access, Michigan has a pre-Roe ban that would block abortions in most situations and the state courts haven’t determined if the state constitution protects a right to abortion.
  • Indiana: Indiana would likely try to ban abortions.
  • Pennsylvania: Abortion is likely to remain but state laws don’t explicitly protect it.
  • Kentucky: The state enacted a trigger law in 2019 and would likely try to ban abortions.
  • West Virginia: A 2018 amendment to the state constitution states there is no right to abortion. The state would likely try to ban abortions.

Ohio reported 20,605 abortions in 2020, a 3% increase from the previous year, according to Ohio Department of Health data. Several abortion clinics have closed in recent years, leaving six that offer surgical abortions and another three that offer medication abortions.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.