COLUMBUS- State Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) released a statement today about Gov. DeWine’s Department of Health attempt to push through an administrative rule banning abortions at the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, despite the recent Hamilton County Court order halting the ban. At today’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), Rep. Skindell moved to invalidate the rule, but the Republican majority cleared the rule on a 5-4 party line vote.
“Today, Republicans made it abundantly clear that they will not do anything to protect vulnerable children who are the victims of sexual assault and rape. Instead, they will continue to force these children to carry their pregnancies to term, no matter the physical, mental and emotional trauma they will suffer as a result,” said Rep. Skindell. “Under this unlawful rule, providers will still need a team of lawyers to determine if they can do their jobs and fulfill their oath to provide care to their young patients. It is despicable and shameful that Governor DeWine’s Health Department pushed ahead with this rule in clear contradiction to the judge’s order. Ohio’s constitution protects the fundamental right to abortion care.”
Senate Bill (SB) 23, Ohio’s 6-week abortion ban, was at the heart of the case of the 10-year-old girl who was forced to leave the state earlier this year to receive an abortion. Gov. DeWine and Attorney General Yost indicated in public comments that the 10-year-old child might have been able to receive an abortion here in Ohio. But, when questioned by Rep. Skindell, the Department of Health spokesperson said he “would defer to the physicians.” Doctors risk prison, fines, civil lawsuits and loss of their license if they perform abortions that could later be deemed not to meet the vague and confusing exception. The rule adopted today provided no further clarity to the exception.
The rule can be viewed here.