Abortion is Legal throughout the United States of America

In the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal and constitutional across the United State. They essentially rewrote a national abortion law, saying that states could not regulate or limit abortion in the first trimester; that they could regulate in the second trimester to protect maternal health; and that they could regulate in the third trimester to protect maternal health or fetal life. The majority opinion ruled that abortion falls within the right of privacy they glean from the 14th amendment.  It fell within right to privacy – which is not in the text of constitution – claims its in 14th amendment.  In Roe v. Wade the Court said that a fetus is not a person but "potential life," and thus does not have constitutional rights of its own.

In Doe v. Bolton, also issued January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion for “the health of the mother” could not be restricted, while adopting a very broad definition of what “may relate to health”, including “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the wellbeing of the patient”. This health exception expanded the right to abortion for any reason through all three trimesters of pregnancy.

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton effectively made abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason throughout the United State of America.

Abortion is Regulated in Varying Degrees in Each State

According to Americans United for Life 2019 State Legislative Sessions Report:

  • 17 states have limits on abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization
  • 26 states have ultrasound requirements
  • 32 states have enforceable informed consent laws
  • Read more

Ohio Abortion Law

  • An abortion must be performed before 20 weeks post fertilization except in cases of life endangerment or severely compromised health.
  • The state requires a 24-hour waiting period between the time a woman has an initial consultation and has an abortion. The consultation must be provided in person and the abortionist is required to share information about the abortion procedure and possible side effects.
  • An ultrasound must be performed and the provider must offer to let the patient view the image.
  • Public funding and health plans under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortions in cases such as a woman’s life being endangered or in cases of rape or incest. (Most private insurance plans do cover both medical and surgical abortions.)

Ohio’s Heartbeat Law

In April 2019, Ohio enacted Senate Bill 23, the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act, commonly referred to as the Heartbeat Bill. This law prohibits an abortionist from committing an abortion if there is a detectable fetal heartbeat. It also contained more than a dozen other pro-life provisions like:

  • Creating a civil remedy for post-abortive women
  • Setting up a joint legislative committee on adoption
  • Requiring abortionists to report whether an abortion is done for maternal health reasons or not
  • Establishing a fund for foster care and adoption initiatives
  • Required written informed consent from women told about their baby’s heartbeat

Unfortunately, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett, a George Bush appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against Ohio's Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act, rendering it ineffective until a decision is reached by the court.