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Ohio Senate Committee Approves Abortion Restrictions Amid Dueling Protests

Abortion protesters at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Supporters wearing fetus shirts seated in front, women dressed like handmaids in back

A bill that would ban a common procedure used in most second trimester abortions is on its way to the full Ohio Senate after being voted out of committee Tuesday morning. But the vote didn’t come without some controversy.

Pro-choice protestors in costumes from the popular series "The Handmaid's Tale" were in the committee room, as they were for the first hearing.

But this time, anti-abortion activists in T-shirts with pictures of fetuses sat in the front row as supporter Barry Sheets testified.

“Ohio needs to go further and intercede to keep this barbaric and inhumane practice from continuing in our state," Sheets told lawmakers.

But Stephanie Craddock Sherwood also told the committee that restrictions like the one in this bill force women to wait longer or travel farther to get abortions.

“Restrictions that force them to delay abortion care have disproportionate impact, especially on low income women, women of color, and young women," she said.

The bill passed along party lines, sending it to the Senate floor.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.