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LATEST: Tell Ohio Gov. Kasich to veto the extreme abortion ban in HB 493

December 9, 2016

Access to medically-sound abortion care matters to all of us. Bans on reproductive health services undermine our bodily autonomy and compromise our progress in the struggle for liberation and equal dignity. We in the reproductive justice, LGBTQ, and faith communities are all working for the right to choose how we live, love, and use our bodies without harmful government intrusion.

We must act now to stop Ohio Governor John Kasich from signing the anti-abortion amendment to HB493—the most extreme abortion restriction in the country—into law. Please call Governor Kasich’s office at (614) 466-3555. Or, if you’re in Ohio, please go here to send him an email

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On Tuesday, December 6, the Republican-led Ohio legislature passed a dangerous amendment, to an unrelated child abuse measure, that would ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as soon as only six weeks after conception.  This is unfathomable.  Many people do not even know that they are pregnant this soon after conception.

Make no mistake, this measure does not protect women’s health. Quite the opposite, if Gov. Kasich signs this measure into law, many of us, cisgender women, transgender men, intersex, gender nonconforming people, and many others will effectually not have the right to abortion. This is unconstitutional.  Further, this regulation directly targets abortion providers. If a provider detects a heartbeat and performs an abortion, they may face imprisonment for one year.  We must show our opposition to allowing such an extreme measure become law.

Proponents of making abortion increasingly difficult to access claim moral reasoning for their position, but faith leaders from diverse traditions are committed to justice and dignity for people seeking abortion care. Any law attempting to override an individual’s conscience and personal-decision making by forcing them to carry a pregnancy to term without regard for their health, life circumstances, or faith tradition is a violation of core American principles and is a form of moral violence. HB493 would insert politics into important medical decisions and would deny an individual the ability to decide what is right for them in consultation with their faith, family, and doctor.

This abortion ban has an exception for the life endangerment of the pregnant person, but does not include an exception for rape or incest.  This provision goes against Governor Kasich’s previous voting record of only supporting anti-abortion provisions that include the exceptions of rape and incest. We must convince him to veto this piece of legislation, and to oppose similarly discriminatory efforts to ban abortion at 20 weeks.

Please urge Governor Kasich to veto the abortion restrictions in HB493 by calling his office at (614) 466-3555. If you’re in Ohio, please use this link to send him an email

Thank you for taking action.

by Stacey Long Simmons, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs

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