Where can Ohioans get abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling?

·3 min read

Abortion in Ohio is still legal up until about six weeks into pregnancy but outside that window, people who want to terminate will have to travel to other states.

But it won't be a simple as driving just across the state line.

Kentucky's abortion ban took effect as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. And while abortion clinics in Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania are still operating, that access could be shut off in each state in the near future, depending on election results and court rulings. West Virginia's only clinic stopped services after the court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.

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The closest states where abortion services will likely continue? Illinois and New York. Political leaders in those two states repealed old laws that called for bans if Roe v. Wade fell and passed laws that expanded access to abortion.

States where abortion services are continuing expect to see a big influx of patients seeking services. Planned Parenthood of Illinois, which has 17 locations, estimates more than 20,000 additional patients will come from other states.

  • Illinois: The state allows in-clinic abortions up to 21 weeks and six days gestation and medication abortions up to 10 weeks and six days gestation. Planned Parenthood of Illinois also offers pill-by-mail services but patients must have an Illinois address and be physically located in the state at the time of the telehealth visit.

  • New York: The state expanded access to abortion in 2019 and protections for providers in 2022. New York allows abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy and later if the patient's health or life is at risk.

  • Ontario: Americans with valid passports can also travel to Ontario to access abortion services from a dozen clinics located in and near Toronto. The Ontario Health Insurance Program covers abortion for Canadians on that plan but other patients pay out of pocket.

Is abortion legal in states next to Ohio?

Abortion clinics are still open in Ohio and some neighboring states but that could change in the near future.

On Friday, a federal court lifted a stay on a 2019 law in Ohio that prohibits abortions after cardiac activity is detected. The "heartbeat" law blocks terminations after that point, which is usually about six weeks into pregnancy. So abortions at clinics in Ohio are curtailed.

Roughly 62% of the 20,605 abortions in Ohio in 2020 came in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, according to Ohio Department of Health statistics. The report doesn't detail how many terminations occurred before cardiac activity could be detected by ultrasounds.

Ohio lawmakers are expected to enact a full ban on all abortions later this year.

Here is the status of abortion services in surrounding states:

  • Michigan: While abortions are still legal in Michigan, that could change at any moment if a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of a state ban is lifted or otherwise removed, according to the Detroit Free Press.

  • Indiana: Abortions are permitted up to 20 weeks "postfertilization" but lawmakers have signaled an interest in adding restrictions to the procedure, according to the IndyStar.

  • Pennsylvania: Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks gestation but whether it remains that way longer term depends on 2022 election results.

  • Kentucky: The state enacted a "trigger" law in 2019 that bans abortion once the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe.

  • West Virginia: In 2018 voters approved an amendment to the state constitution says there is no right to abortion. Abortions are currently legal up to 20 weeks gestation but lawmakers and the current governor have signaled an interest in restricting access or banning it. And the state's only clinic stopped services.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio bans abortion after six weeks gestation, forcing others to travel