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3 things you need to know about Ohio’s new abortion law

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

No, it's not the 'Heartbeat Bill,' but Ohio's new abortion law is still extreme

Yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. No, this is not the so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” which would have outlawed abortions after six weeks, but it is still a huge blow to reproductive rights and one of the first tangible effects of conservative lawmakers feeling emboldened by the results of November’s election.

Here are three things you need to know about the new law in Ohio:

1. There are no exceptions for rape or incest

Despite going on the record saying that he did not support bans on abortion in cases of rape and incest, Kasich has given in to pressure from his party and signed the bill without those exceptions.

More: Ohio may adopt the most restrictive abortion law in the country

2. 20-week abortion bans are unconstitutional and have been blocked from enforcement in two states

Federal judges have found that 20-week abortion bans are unconstitutional in Arizona and Idaho, and a lawsuit has recently been filed for the same reason in North Carolina. The current federal regulation on abortion, Roe v. Wade, established a right to abortion at points in the pregnancy before the fetus is externally viable. Generally, this is around 24 weeks.

More: Sean Hannity addresses America's uteruses

3. The Heartbeat Bill may have existed just to make this 20-week ban seem reasonable

A common sentiment last night and this morning from some pro-abortion rights individuals has been “at least it’s not the six-week ban.” That is absolutely true. Banning abortions when many women don’t even know they’re pregnant was a terrible, dangerous idea. But that doesn’t — and shouldn’t — make the 20-week ban more palatable. Repeat after me: Kasich is not a reasonable, moderate Republican.

More: No, Texas, abortion does not cause breast cancer

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