July 21, 2011 — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill (HB 78) that bans abortion care after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless the woman's life is at risk or a doctor determines that the fetus could not survive outside the womb, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (Guillen, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/20). The measure also requires physicians who perform abortions to submit reports to the Ohio Department of Health within 15 days after the woman is discharged (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/14). The law will become effective within 90 days (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/20).
The bill does not contain an exception for the health of the mother, but physicians who are prosecuted for providing abortion care after 20 weeks can use that reason as a defense (AP/WKYC, 7/20). NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio condemned the exceptions for being too narrow and not including rape or incest.
Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, in a statement said that lawmakers "are endangering women's health because they don't trust women and their doctors to make personal, private decisions for themselves" (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/20).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.