On Friday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed off on a new law that will ban an abortion procedure commonly done during the second trimester of pregnancy. The law, Senate Bill 145, will prohibit the dilation and evacuation procedure known as the D&E. The procedure involves dilating the cervix and sucking out the fetus piece by piece. While being celebrated by pro-life advocates, the bill was harshly criticized by abortion advocates, according to CNN.
With this new legislation, the D&E procedure will be outlawed in every situation except for in the case of risk to a mother’s life. Abortion providers that choose to continue to practice this method will face harsh legal consequences. They will risk facing fourth-degree felony charges, fines, and even potential jail time.
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Governor Kasich has been consistently firm on his stance against abortion. During his eight years in office, he has signed off on over 20 bills intended to restrict the practice of abortion in Ohio. Right to Life of Ohio issued a statement in support of the governor following the passing of the new legislation.
“Ohioans can sleep easier tonight, knowing that the horrendous practice of dismemberment abortions is behind us,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. Gonidakis praised the governor for the steps he’s taken to limit late-term abortions, saying that his actions have cut back on abortions in Ohio by 25 percent. The organization hopes that the bill will be yet another step to bring the state closer to ending the practice of abortion altogether.
Meanwhile, Ohio Planned Parenthood advocates fear that this legislation will limit women’s options and infringe on their constitutional rights.
“Patients, and the medical providers who serve them, rely on the overwhelming medical evidence that shows abortion is one of the safest medical procedures,” said Iris Harvey, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood advocates of Ohio. “The method ban dangerously limits people’s options, undermines patients’ constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion, and compromises medical providers’ decision making,” she continued.
Ohio is not the only state to attempt to ban late term abortions such as the D&E method. Ten states have already signed similar laws. Mississipi and West Virginia were particularly accepting of the new legislation, making no moves to hinder its fulfillment. The new Ohio bill will officially go into affect in March of 2019. Mike DeWine, a republican attorney general, will take Kasich’s place as governor in January of 2019. He is also a firm pro-life advocate.