Is Abortion Legal in Ohio?

In 2019, the Ohio State Legislature passed a piece of legislation that makes abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected (usually around six weeks). This bill was signed into law by the governor but was blocked from going into effect by a federal judge in Cincinnati in July.

What does this mean for women considering abortion? For now, the procedure is still legal with some restrictions. The 2019 law will likely be taken to higher courts as legal battles rage over abortion in Ohio and the rest of the country.

For now, if you are considering abortion in Ohio, you need to be aware of the following restrictions in place that limit when and how you can obtain an abortion.

Current Ohio Abortion Laws

Before having an abortion procedure, you must go through a counseling session intended to let you know you have options and to inform you of all the potential side effects of abortion. This is similar to counseling sessions prior to any other major medical procedure. After the session ends, you’ll have to wait 24 hours before having the abortion. This is so you have plenty of time to consider the information and make a fully-informed decision about this significant medical procedure.

Abortion is only covered in public employees’ health insurance plans and under the Affordable Care Act in cases where your (the woman’s) life might be in danger or in pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest. This means you’ll have to pay for the abortion out of pocket if you have one of these plans. Public funding is only available for abortions as a result of rape or incest, or which are life-threatening.

Medication abortion (non-surgical) abortion must be administered according to FDA regulations. This is for your health and safety because the abortion pill can include a variety of side effects.

Minors must receive parental consent before receiving an abortion.

An ultrasound must be given prior to an abortion. This is to help determine how far along the pregnancy is, which will inform what kind of abortion you can receive. The ultrasound practitioner must offer to show you a picture of the ultrasound so you can make a fully-informed decision.

All abortions must be performed prior to 22 weeks since the last menstrual period. This is because it’s been scientifically determined that the fetus can feel pain in the womb past this point.

We hope this information is helpful as you consider how you will proceed with your unplanned pregnancy. If you would like more information on abortion, abortion laws in Ohio, or education on your other options, please schedule a free appointment today!

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