Will Gov. Kasich Veto New Extreme Anti-Abortion Measure?

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Many of Ohio’s newly approved abortion restrictions are as severe as the ones found in the hotly disputed Texas legislation. If these restrictions are approved by Republican Gov. John Kasich, Ohio will have some of the most draconian anti-abortion laws in the country. Read ‘em here. SOURCE

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There was no Wendy Davis in Ohio on Thursday when Republicans passed a state budget spending bill packed with last minute and unprecedented measures against abortion. Onlookers and democrats cried out in chants of “Shame!” when the final vote count tallied 55 to 43. Republican Gov. Kasich has until 11:59 pm on Sunday to line-item veto anything in the new bill. Kasich has declined to give any thoughts on the new measures, except to say he opposes abortion.

Physicians providing abortions are not allowed admittance to public hospitals.

The proposal in Texas requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to hospitals within a 30-mile radius of their clinic. Ohio takes it a step further: doctor’s providing abortions are not allowed admitting privileges in public hospitals.

What if there are only public hospitals in a 30-mile radius? Then those clinics will be shut down. Opponents of the measure anticipate three clinics in Ohio will shutter under this new restriction.

Ohio would be the first state in the nation to have such a law.

Fetal pain must be described

The bill says the doctor must, “describe the development of nerve endings of the embryo or fetus and the ability of the embryo or fetus to feel pain at each stage of development.” Meaning, a woman undergoing an abortion in the first trimester — which is when many abortions happen — must be told her fetus is capable of feeling pain even though there is no conclusive medical evidence of this.

While a Harvard Medical study found that during gestation a fetus can develop the pathways and branches for transmitting physical sensation (such as pain or warmth) but there is no evidence that those pathways are active before the third trimester of a pregnancy.

Doctors must tell women how much money they make from performing abortions

A physician performing an abortion must sign sign a “conflict of interest’ waiver stating how much money the doctor or his or her facility made from preforming abortions in the previous year. The physician must also provide a statement detailing how much money they or their clinic would lose if a woman decides to carry her pregnancy to term. Before performing the abortion the physician must give a woman these documents.

Violation of this restriction is considered a first-degree felony and the offender can be fined $1 million.

Ultrasounds include visual description; no rape exemption

Under the law in Ohio, women seeking an abortion must now undergo an ultrasound no matter the circumstances of her pregnancy. There is no medical reason for a woman to undergo an ultrasound for a first-trimester abortion. States began to impose this procedure in the 1990s in what the Guttmacher Institute calls “a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion.

If a woman refuses to look at the image of ultrasound, the law says the provider must give a visual description. The physicians must also explain the physiological state of the fetus. For example, if the fetus has a heartbeat, eyelids, fingers, and or toes.

Mandatory wait-time doubled

The new bill increases the mandatory wait time for a woman to receive abortion from 24 hours to 48 hours. The wait period cannot be bypassed unless “the pregnancy complicates the medical condition of the woman that the death of the woman would result from the failure to immediately terminate the pregnancy.” That means, for example, if a woman is raped —but is not teetering on the brink of death—she must wait the mandatory 48 hours and undergo all the above restrictions.

‘How sick is sick enough?’

A doctor can get a medical waiver to bypass any of these restrictions in the case of a medical emergency. But the new law would change the definition of medical emergency from a serious medical risk to one that “so complicates the medical condition of the woman that the death of the woman would result from the failure to immediately terminate the pregnancy.”

Dr. Jason Melillo, an Ohio based physician explained the important shift in language to during his testimony at the Ohio Statehouse last week: “It may sound like a small distinction but it is an incredibly important one. In other words, how sick is sick enough?”

He added: “When physicians hesitate, sometimes people get hurt. This bill will cause potential hesitation even in emergency situations where 48 hours can very literally mean the difference between life and death.”

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