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Ohio Abortion-Rights Supporters Speak Out Against Proposed Bans

February 27, 2015 — Ohio abortion-rights groups, college students and some state lawmakers on Wednesday spoke out against abortion restrictions expected to be debated this legislative session, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (Borchardt, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/25).

Earlier this month, state lawmakers introduced a bill (HB 69) that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/19).

In addition, Ohio Right to Life has said it will advocate for bills banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and if genetic tests indicate the fetus has Down syndrome.

A 2011 Ohio law (HB 78) bans abortions at 24 weeks or when a fetus is considered viable. Under the law, physicians are required to determine if the fetus could be viable after 20 weeks (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/25).

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Speaking at an event on Wednesday, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said, "One of the things we know about abortion is when it's not legal it still happens, but it's not safe" (Everhart-Sullivan, "The Daily Briefing," Columbus Dispatch, 2/26).

Several lawmakers who support abortion-rights attended a press conference with NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) said, "Instead of respecting women as full human beings capable of making their own decisions and with the right to control their own bodies, legislatures dominated by men around the country spend their time creating more obstacles to women's rights" (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/25).