Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today applauded Gov. John Kasich’s veto of House Bill 493, legislation that would ban abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as five to six weeks. The House leader also commended today’s Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Decision against the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), effectively keeping the Women’s Med Center of Dayton open.
“At a time when people feel uncertain about the future of their healthcare, Ohio should be doing everything it can to increase access to care, not limit it with roadblocks that have been found to be unconstitutional,” said Strahorn. “Despite today’s mostly positive news, too many women across our state still face barriers to care and politicians who want to intrude on healthcare decisions best left to women in consultation with their families, faith and physicians.”
The governor vetoed HB 493 today after eleventh-hour lawmaking last week brought two measures that intrude on women’s personal healthcare decisions to the governor’s desk. The governor signed the other into law, a 20-week abortion ban with no exception for rape or incest.
Meanwhile, the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court ruled against state efforts to shutter a local healthcare facility that provides pregnancy termination services. ODH sought to close the Women’s Med Center of Dayton after alleging the health care facility didn’t qualify for a variance from a 2013 Ohio transfer agreement restriction – a hurdle that has been struck down twice as unconstitutional by Ohio courts.
The Montgomery County court essentially found in their determination that the ODH director’s expectations of the Dayton clinic were subjective and invalid and would harm 2,000 women who annually use the facility’s healthcare services.