Ohio Democrats want abortion restrictions repealed; GOP says no

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(The Center Square) – Ohio Democratic lawmakers quickly went to work introducing legislation that would repeal state laws related to abortion care.

Republicans, which own significant majorities in both the House and Senate, vowed to keep fighting against abortion despite voters overwhelmingly enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution.

Reps. Anita Somani, D-Dublin, and Beth Liston, D-Dublin, both physicians, plan to introduce The Reproductive Care Act, which they say would reduce barriers and access to abortion and reproductive health care.

“For years, the extreme majorities in Ohio’s state legislature have been making it harder for patients to access abortion care and for providers to provide the proper, comprehensive care their patients need,” Somani said. “Protecting women’s reproductive rights happens when we work on reducing barriers to care. We will continue to work to ensure patients and providers are protected.”

The move comes after Ohioans approved an amendment Tuesday that enshrines the right to abortion and other health care and reproductive decisions in the state’s constitution.

The planned bill would repeal existing laws, such as a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, transfer agreements and targeted restrictions on abortion provider laws that require abortion clinics to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers.

“The Reproductive Care Act is the first step in this multifaceted process to remove barriers to reproductive health care that exist in Ohio,” Liston said. “These steps will be critical in addressing some of our real problems – including our abysmal infant and maternal mortality rates. Hopefully, we can come all together to support pregnant women and ensure infants and families have the needed resources to thrive.”

The House Pro-Life Caucus, which contains 27 Republicans, vowed to stop any state law from being repealed.

“Unlike the language of this proposal, we want to be very clear,” the caucus said in a statement. “The vague, intentionally deceptive language of Issue 1 does not clarify the issues of life, parental consent, informed consent, or viability including Partial Birth Abortion, but rather introduces more confusion. This initiative failed to mention a single, specific law. We will do everything in our power to prevent our laws from being removed based upon perception of intent. We were elected to protect the most vulnerable in our state, and we will continue that work.”

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