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Ohio Republicans introduce Texas-style abortion bill

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock

A new bill fashioned after a Texas abortion law has been introduced in the Ohio legislature. The latest abortion bill from Republican lawmakers is already scheduled for its first hearing.

This bill goes further than the abortion bans currently under consideration by lawmakers.

It would also allow private citizens to take action against a person performing or inducing an abortion. This bill also allows individuals to take action against others who help someone get an abortion. It is scheduled to get its first hearing this week.

Ohio will likely ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade next month, as a draft leaked opinion has indicated. Last week, an Ohio House committee heard from supporters of HB598, a bill that would ban abortion immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

That bill would ban abortion in nearly all cases, at all points in a pregnancy. It does allow doctors who perform an abortion to save the life of the pregnant person, but it doesn't prevent them from being arrested.

A doctor that performs an abortion — under the proposed bill — would have to put up an affirmative defense, which puts the burden on the doctor to justify why they conducted an abortion in order to avoid being convicted.

Also last week, Democratic members of the Ohio House and Senate proposed a constitutional amendment on Tuesday to ensure abortion rights.

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.