COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Overturning Roe v. Wade puts the issue of abortion in the states hands. Here in Ohio, there is already movement to ban all abortions except in one specific case.
House Bill 598 is one of the most recent pieces of legislation aimed at banning abortion and is currently in committee. It relied on Roe v. Wade to be overturned to even become a reality. Now, it could be if passed.
State Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) is the sponsor of House Bill 598 and the former head of the Greater Cincinnati Right to Life.
“My fight to end abortion in Ohio has been on-going for five decades. Now, we have a chance to end it and to save the nearly 21,000 unborn children who are killed every year in this state,” Schmidt said.
NBC4 spoke to advocates on both sides of the issue about where Ohio goes next.
“We believe at some point in 2022 between now and the end of the year we will have a law on the books that Ohio will be abortion free,” said Mike Gonidakis with Ohio Right to Life.
The law may come sooner, as Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced his office has filed a motion to dissolve an injunction against the state’s heartbeat law.
On the other side, Jaime Miracle with Pro-Choice Ohio says, “It does not reflect the will of the people of Ohio but they have the majority that they need and the votes they need to pass that.”
There is legislation being considered right now that would put an all-out ban on abortions, except in cases where a mother’s life is at risk. Physicians could face a felony for performing an abortion and have to defend their case in court.
Gonidakis supports it saying Ohio has the resources to help all women through pregnancy.
“We have a 11.9 million people that live in the great state of Ohio,” he said. “They have access to great health care. Any woman who needs pre-natal care, housing, food, our food banks are fantastic, any type of support a woman could need if she finds herself in that type of pregnancy.”
Miracle disagrees: “We have shortages in formula, we have shortages in childcare resources, we don’t have access to the health care we need, maternal mortality especially among black women is through the roof. It is an epidemic and those are things we should be focused on in this state.”
The house bill is only in the committee process. No vote has taken place by either the Ohio Senate or Ohio House. However, it could be taken up this coming legislative session. Gonidakis says he expects it will be.
“That’s why we have elections and elections have consequences and we believe we have worked so hard to change the culture, to change hearts and minds,” he said.
Miracle says this goes beyond the act of an abortion.
“We would see impacts on maternal health throughout pregnancy and beyond,” she said. “We would see impacts on doctors being able to take care of patients when they have crisis during pregnancy.”