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Ohioans Join Nationwide Protest Of Abortion Laws

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle
Ohio Public Radio
Abortion protestors gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.

Supporters of legal abortion rallied at the Ohio Statehouse and other state capitals throughout the nation on Tuesday. 

Hundreds of protestors chanted "My Choice" outside the Statehouse. Many carried homemade signs, urging lawmakers to stop passing abortion bans and restrictions.

Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) said the bans and restrictions being passed lately are unconstitutional, not based on science and she said passage of the legislation puts a woman's life in danger.

“People are going to still have abortions. They are going to because it’s a real health care need," Howse said.

While most of the people who participated in the rally were there to protest abortion bans, some were there to support the crackdown on the procedure. John Tuttle of Columbus, a supporter of the new abortion bans, used a bullhorn to drown out the protestors. He said abortion is murder.

“These children are individuals who have a right to life," Tuttle said.

Ohio has passed 21 abortion restrictions since 2011. The most recent one was a bill that bans abortion around six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The Ohio ACLU has filed a lawsuit in federal court, asking it to stop that law from taking effect.

Ohio is one of eight states that has passed the so-called "Heartbeat Bill." It has been struck down by federal courts in some other states. Supporters of that new law hope the U.S. Supreme Court will take up one of these abortion restriction cases and use it to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

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.