Ohio Politics Explained podcast: The impact of overturning Roe vs. Wade

·2 min read
June 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, United States;   Hundreds of people rallied at the Ohio Statehouse and marched through downtown Columbus in support of abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch
June 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, United States; Hundreds of people rallied at the Ohio Statehouse and marched through downtown Columbus in support of abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch

An Ohio law banning almost all abortions after six weeks went into effect. A lawsuit was filed to overturn it, and a complete ban on abortion is in the works.

We break down what it all means on this week's episode of Ohio Politics Explained.

It's a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau where we catch you up on the state's political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Anna Staver was joined by reporter Laura Bischoff.

1) What the six-week ban means

Abortions in Ohio are no longer permitted once fetal cardiac activity is detected. This happens at about six weeks gestation or two weeks from the first day of a missed period.

The law has no exemption for rape or mental health complications. The only reason an abortion can be performed after six weeks in Ohio is a physical, life-threatening complication like Preeclampsia.

2) The legality of abortion by mail

Online websites such as Plan C and Aid Access are offering to connect those seeking medication abortions with clinicians outside their state or country who will mail the medications to a patient's home.

Getting an abortion using telehealth or an online pharmacy isn't legal in Ohio, but the law also doesn't penalize people who seek illegal abortions.

Advocates of abortion access say these self-managed abortions can be safe, but opponents strongly disagree.

Patients seeking legal abortions after six weeks will need to travel to another state or out of the country.

3) The case in state supreme court

Attorneys for Ohio's abortion providers have sued in state court to restore access to abortions up to 22 weeks.

They argued in court filings to the Ohio Supreme Court Wednesday that the newly imposed six-week ban violates the state constitution, which goes farther than the U.S. Constitution in protecting health care choices.

4) Amending Ohio's constitution 

Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, the Democratic candidate for governor, wants Ohioans to put abortion access on the ballot as early as 2023.

The move would sidestep the Republican-controlled legislature and put protections for the procedure into the state constitution.

But that could be expensive.

Ballot measures require millions of dollars for the campaign and more than 450,000 valid signatures from voters in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.

Listen to "Ohio Politics Explained" on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.

The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Politics podcast: The impact of overturning Roe vs. Wade