After the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion laws in many states have shifted.
In Ohio, the Supreme Court decision has led to House Bill 258, known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” being signed into law. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, understanding your options amidst these changes and media misinformation can be scary and overwhelming. At Bella, we’re here for you to answer your questions and help you navigate your options.
Is abortion still legal in Ohio?
Currently, abortion is legal in Ohio before a fetal heartbeat is detected, and illegal afterward. Generally, a fetal heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. There is an exception for medical emergencies, meaning that a physician determines and documents that an abortion procedure is necessary to prevent the pregnant woman’s death or serious risk to her bodily health. (Ohio Revised Code, 2919.195 B) The Heartbeat Bill also specifies that the new restrictions only apply to intrauterine pregnancy (2919.19 A 8). That means that they don’t apply if a woman is experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition where the fetus is developing outside of the uterus.
These former requirements for obtaining an abortion in Ohio still apply:
- Before an abortion a woman must receive a consultation where she has “adequate opportunity to ask questions;” give informed, written consent; be given information about her pregnancy, her options, and the abortion procedure; and have a 24-hour waiting period to ensure she has adequate time to make her decision (2317.56).
- If you are under 18 and dependent, you need the written consent of one parent, guardian, or custodian; or a court order saying you can consent (2919.121).
- If a physician is administering abortion pills, the physician must be physically present for the woman’s safety. This means telemedicine abortions are not legal in Ohio (2919.124).
- Abortion cannot be covered by insurance in Ohio (3901.87), except in cases of endangerment to the pregnant woman, rape, or incest (9.04)
If I get an ultrasound at Bella, is it still confidential?
YES, all of Bella’s services are completely confidential. The new law specifies that the physician performing the abortion is responsible for detecting a fetal heartbeat (2919.192 A). Bella Women’s Center provides crucial services to women who are considering abortion, such as confirming pregnancy; determining a pregnancy’s viability, gestational age, and location; STD testing; and consultations. Because we do not perform abortions at Bella, our services will remain exactly the same— we are a safe place where you can get the information and support you need, with no judgment and at no cost.
If I get an abortion and my physician doesn’t comply with everything in the new law, will I get in trouble?
No. if an abortion is performed on you that violates the revisions to Ohio’s code of law, you are not guilty of any offense under Ohio law. Only the physician performing the abortion will be held responsible if any of the requirements are not met. (2919.198)
What should I do if I’m facing an unplanned pregnancy?
Breathe— you still have options. At Bella Women’s Center, you can receive the information, resources, and support you need at no cost and with complete confidentiality, so you can navigate this journey. Call us at 330-993-0604. We are here for you!
Learn More about Bella’s Services
- Pregnancy testing
- Ultrasound scans
- Limited STD testing and treatment
- Abortion consultations
- Post-abortion support
Schedule your free appointment today!