The Texas Heartbeat Act has been all over the news and social media as the most strict legislation limiting abortion in the country. Though enacted last May, it went into effect on September 1, 2021, at midnight.
Women across the nation have been wondering what this law means for them, and if this kind of law could be enacted in their state. We will address key questions, so you can understand if women in Ohio are impacted.
What does the Texas Heartbeat Act do?
Only applying to the state of Texas, the Texas Heartbeat Act prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This can happen as early as six weeks with an ultrasound scan.
While women can’t be fined for having an illegal abortion, abortion providers and those who help women have an abortion can be sued by private citizens. If the one suing wins the case, they will be awarded a minimum of $10,000, plus the cost of any attorney’s fees.
What are the abortion restrictions in Ohio?
The Texas Heartbeat Act only applies to Texas and doesn’t impact women in Ohio. Here are a few key points of the existing Ohio law:
20 Week Gestational Limit
- Ohio prohibits abortions after the pregnancy is 20 weeks along (gestation) for most instances unless it’s a medical emergency.
- At least 24 hours before an abortion procedure, physicians are required to provide a fetal development guide published by the Ohio Department of Health and material about alternate providers to help a woman through her pregnancy.
Parental Consent for Minors
- Ohio requires permission from a parent, step-parent, grandparent, or sibling age 21 and older before a minor can have an abortion. If the minor is unable to obtain this permission, she may file a complaint in juvenile court and request an order to authorize consent for the abortion.
- Public funding for an abortion can only be provided in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest.
Why should I have an ultrasound?
Regardless of any restrictions or laws, ultrasounds are vital to your health and help you understand all your options.
Ultrasounds will tell you how far along you are (gestation). If the pregnancy is progressing and viable, and if the pregnancy is located inside the uterus.
It’s essential to know these three pieces of information to rule out any complications like ectopic pregnancy, and any options you wouldn’t qualify for.
We offer ultrasounds, pregnancy testing, and additional helpful services for no cost at Ivy Women’s Center.
Keep in mind, ultrasounds can be inconclusive if you have one before you’ve been pregnant for at least five weeks.
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