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Democrats call on Yost to clarify medical emergency exemption for Ohio's dangerous six-week abortion ban

October 28, 2022
Democratic Newsroom

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), co-chair of the Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus (OBMHC) Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati), and ranking member of the House Health Committee Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) sent a letter to Attorney General Dave Yost asking him to reveal how he will advise state officials and healthcare providers to apply the “medical emergency” exception in Senate Bill (SB) 23 if Ohio’s six-week abortion ban is reinstated.

“Women always deserve the freedom to make the healthcare decisions that are best for them. Just like the majority of Ohioans who oppose this extreme ban, we firmly believe that SB 23 should never take effect. But if you insist on continuing your undemocratic appeal, clarification from your office is more necessary than ever,” wrote Democrats. “That’s why we ask you to tell Ohioans how you will advise state officials and others on applying the ‘medical emergency’ exception if you succeed in reinstating this barbaric ban. Ohioans deserve answers.”

After Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Yost petitioned an Ohio federal court to allow Ohio’s six-week abortion ban to take immediate effect. The ban was met with public and legal scrutiny, endangering the health and lives of millions of women overnight. Women and children seeking reproductive healthcare were forced to leave the state, notably a 10-year old child rape survivor that made national news after Republican leaders, including Yost, denied her existence. Doctors and healthcare providers across Ohio delayed or denied life-saving procedures due to confusion and ambiguity over the “medical emergency” exception in SB 23. 

SB 23 was blocked by a Hamilton County judge on Oct. 7, but the Attorney General filed a notice of appeal on Oct. 12 and is aggressively seeking to reinstate the six-week abortion ban.

The letter can be viewed here.