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Ohio Democrats push bills to support abortion, reproductive care

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(The Center Square) – While court challenges continue in an attempt to stop Ohio’s six-week abortion ban and 24-hour waiting period, Democratic lawmakers continue to push for legislation to keep abortion legal in the state.

After voters easily voted to approve a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to an abortion in November, no movement has come to repeal or make new laws in the Legislature.

And with the potential for a national abortion ban coming following the November general election, Democrats are pushing for state laws that would protect the amendment vote.

“With the possibility of a national abortion ban and the failure of protection for IVF and contraception at the congressional level, it is even more imperative that we protect the will of the voters here in Ohio and continue to work on improving maternal and infant mortality through common sense legislation,” Rep. Dr. Anita Somani, D-Dublin, said at a news conference.

IVF an the acronym for in vitro fertilization.

Democrats introduced three bills in the House that all deal with reproductive rights, including one that would repeal existing abortion laws such as a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, transfer agreements and targeted regulation of abortion providers.

House Bill 343 would also add data privacy, nondiscrimination, and other protections for patients and doctors.

“It remains unclear what the extremists at the Statehouse will do to further restrict women’s health care,” said Rep. Beth Liston, D-Dublin. “What is clear: Ohioans sent a strong message – reproductive health choices belong to women, who with their families, physicians, and faith – can decide for themselves. We intend to make sure that message is heard and will continue to fight to make it a reality.”

Another bill would protect assisted reproduction care, such as IVF treatments, and a third would require that crisis pregnancy centers provide medically accurate care and report how state funds are used.

In the spring, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed suit to stop the state’s 24-hour waiting period. No decision has come.

As previously reported by The Center Square, Attorney General Dave Yost agreed with plaintiffs that the state’s law banning nearly all abortions is unconstitutional after voters guaranteed the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution in November.

Other aspects of the law, however, continue to be litigated.

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