Lillian’s Lowdown: Ohio needs more abortion access

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Ohio is ranked 38th for reproductive rights among all US states. Unfortunately, this isn’t as surprising since there are only six full-service abortion clinics in the state and state law requires parental consent for minors who wish to have an abortion.

Then there’s Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” which, although currently blocked by the courts, dramatically restricts access to abortion by prohibiting abortion if a heartbeat is detected. . One thing is clear: Ohioans — and all Americans — need better access to abortion and more protections for their reproductive rights.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that protected the right to abortion, resulted in several benefits for those who can get pregnant. The legalization of abortion has reduced teenage marriage by 20% and teenage motherhood by 34%. It also led to an increase in women’s education, as well as more women obtaining higher salaries and professional careers. These effects were greater in black women. Access to safe and legal abortion is beneficial and avoids the trauma of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term.

Now that Roe v. Wade was overturned, several state legislatures decided to ignore the negative ways in which abortion restrictions affect both children and their parents – Ohio being one of them.

Ohio seems to care a lot about protecting fetuses, but not so much once they’ve been carried to term. In Ohio, 18.2% of children live in poverty. Of all US states, Ohio ranks 42nd in infant mortality rate, 35th in child food security, and 37th in child economic security. In fact, Ohio’s lack of access to abortion directly contributes to its high infant mortality rate, as babies born in states with restrictive abortion laws are more likely to die.

Pregnant women are also little taken into account, even in urgent circumstances. Let’s not forget the 10-year-old girl from Columbus who was forced to travel to Indiana for an abortion due to Ohio’s Heartbeat Law, which went into effect just hours after the cancellation of Roe v. Wade. The girl’s pregnancy, which lasted only six weeks, was the result of rape. Fortunately, ongoing litigation is keeping the Heartbeat Bill at bay for now and abortions in Ohio are still available for up to 22 weeks, but the damage from Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill cannot. be repaired.

If Ohio cared about children, it would focus on improving the lives of the children it already has. This means making sure families can afford to feed their children, expanding health care and, of course, letting parents choose when they want to have children.

The people of Ohio deserve to have their rights respected, to have easy access to safe abortions, and to have the ability to choose when or if they want children. There is no reason to restrict their bodies and no reason to limit their choices. There will always be people who need abortions. They should be able to get them safely, without difficulty, and without having to travel outside of their own state. Ohio needs better access to abortion and stronger protections for reproductive rights — and it needs them now.

Lillian Barry is a sophomore journalism student at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Lillian know by tweeting her at @lillianbarry_.


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