On November 2nd, 2021, Ohio Republicans introduced House Bill 480 (HB480), which (if passed) would become the most extreme abortion ban in the United States. This abortion ban, called the 2363 Act, would ban all abortions in the state of Ohio, with absolutely no exceptions for rape or incest. HB480 is essentially a copycat of the recent Texas abortion ban, and there is speculation that many states will be following suit.
The 2363 Act also includes that lawsuits can be filed against those who receive abortions or those who assist in someone receiving an abortion. Of course, this would include the people performing the procedure. But this could also include if an Uber driver who drove someone to their appointment unknowingly, but they were just doing their job. These lawsuits would include fines of $10,000 or more and can be filed by anyone. Sadly, the defendants would not be able to claim HB480 as being unconstitutional during a trial. Which this bill is completely unconstitutional.
Sadly, Republicans currently have the House majority (64-35) and more than half of the House has cosponsored HB480. To me, this is absolutely devastating. I am incredibly tired of having limits put on healthcare for those with female-assigned reproductive systems (FARS). Especially when it comes to a medical procedure like abortion, that affects no one but the person receiving the abortion.
In an effort to be respectful to the fact that not only women receive abortions, I will be using the term Female Assigned Reproductive Systems (FARS), as recommended in an article from Everyday Feminism.
Firstly, this is unconstitutional. Everyone knows Roe v. Wade, which decided in 1973 that a person has a right to choose whether to get an abortion or not. This stated that the state could not prevent abortions in the first trimester, but may put regulations on abortions starting in the second trimester. HB480 goes directly against Roe v. Wade, but recently, Republicans have been feeling gutsy. I wish they would realize that what goes on in someone else’s body is none of their business, especially since it does not impact them at all.
A total abortion ban will not put an end to abortions. It will only put an end to safe abortions. Unsafe abortions are preventable. Abortions are healthcare and I cannot fathom trying to take away someone’s right to healthcare. No one should have to carry a baby if they do not want to.
As briefly mentioned, this bill includes no exceptions for rape or incest. Which makes me sick to my stomach. Being sexually assaulted is so traumatic, and no person should be actively forced to carry the baby of their rapist. That is so beyond horrifying and inhumane. There are also no exceptions for rape victims under the age of 18.
In the cases of people with FARS who need an abortion in order to save the life of the pregnant person, the bill includes the same exceptions included in Senate Bill 123. Meaning, the provider of the abortion must show that they had no other choice in performing the abortion. This is very vague and can be twisted in certain situations.
HB480 will impact those with FARS, obviously. But it will unfairly impact POC, trans, and non-binary women. As Emilia Skyes, the current House Minority Leader, said “[c]riminalizing care will disproportionately impact women of color, nonbinary people and those already at a disadvantage in our health and criminal justice system.”
This potential ban is scary to me and those with FARS. It scares me so much that I do not think I have a total grasp on what this will look like. It always felt like abortion bans were happening every else and not where I live. I was devastated when Texas announced its abortion ban, but it also felt far away from me. The Texas abortion ban starts after 6 weeks of the pregnancy, but Ohio’s would have no timeline. No abortions would be allowed, period.
This bill makes me feel physically sick to my stomach. I am so beyond tired of someone else trying to tell me what I cannot do with my own body when it only affects me and my body. I am done with religion being dragged into the making of laws regarding abortion when there is separation of church and state. I am over having private procedures be made into an uphill battle. Abortion is a right and everyone with a FARS should have the right to choose whether or not to receive an abortion
What can you do to voice your concern on this?
I highly recommend following @ppaohio on Instagram to stay up to date about the situation. Since the bill has not yet been assigned a committee, there are no clear actions we can take at the present moment. However, by following this link you can sign up to provide in-person or written testimony.
The time to fight for the right to control our own bodies is now. People with FARS deserve access to reproductive healthcare. No ifs, ands or buts. This is something they cannot take away from us. Believe me, I am not letting this slide by without a fight.