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Ohio pregnancy crisis center braces for change following U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision

A doctor performs a sonogram on a patient.
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The Ashland Pregnancy Care Center, located in Ashland, Ohio, offers a variety of services to convince pregnant women not to get an abortion, including free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as adoption information.

Melanie Miller is the center's executive director. She’s also a Republican candidate for the Ohio House which includes Ashland County and the western portion of Medina County,

Miller said the center has not been open in the days since Friday's Supreme Court decision, so it's too early to say what kind of demand they'll see.

She points to the example of Texas, which last September implemented a ban on abortions once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo—usually at around six weeks gestation.

"There was a huge increase of abortion determined women panicking not knowing what to do for help and support. But then also, the need for material support and services increased dramatically," Miller said.

Ohio's own six-week abortion ban became law Friday following a federal judge's ruling.

Pro-abortion rights advocates have warned that such bans put women at risk, impacting care for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages, but Miller said those concerns are overblown.

"Women are not going to die because abortion is now illegal, if you will. Abortion kills a child, it's not safe for the child. It's not safe for the mother," Miller said.

We also reached to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio but did not receive any comment.

Corrected: June 28, 2022 at 12:17 PM EDT
A previous version of this story said the 67th Ohio House District was in Delaware County. The district actually includes Ashland County and the western portion of Medina County.
Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.