Ohio Bill Automatically Bans Abortions If Supreme Court Overturns 'Roe V. Wade'

Mar 4, 2020

A conservative Ohio lawmaker is introducing legislation that would automatically ban abortion in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark “Roe v. Wade” decision.

State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp.) says he wants the state to be prepared if the nation's high court overturns the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

The “trigger ban,” HB 538, would outlaw all abortions in Ohio except those to save a woman's life or prevent substantial and irreversible harm.

Doctors who perform surgical or drug-induced abortions would face the first-degree felony charge of “abortion manslaughter” and have their medical license revoked. Women who undergo or attempt abortions would not face prosecution under the law.

"Anti-abortion extremists are at it again," said Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio in a written statement. "House Bll 538 is the 10th ban introduced in the last year, proving leaders in the Ohio General Assembly are only focused on eliminating legal access to abortion and neglecting everything else."

Two dozen Republican state representatives have signed onto the bill as co-sponsors.

Eight states have similar laws that would take effect after a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Several other states have pre-existing bans that also would go into effect.

In January, most Ohio Republicans signed onto an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider "Roe v. Wade."

Last year, Becker introduced a bill that would prohibit most insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion services.