COLUMBUS- State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) issued a statement after a Hamilton County judge temporarily blocked Ohio’s six-week abortion ban for 14 days. During the temporary block, Ohioans can access abortion services if they are up to 22-weeks pregnant.
“It’s a relief to see Ohio’s judicial system reaffirm our fundamental freedom to make our own healthcare decisions,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “But two weeks isn’t assurance enough for scared women and families everywhere. We need the Reproductive Freedom Act in Ohio’s constitution. Our right to make decisions about our own bodies should never again be put into the hands of the courts or partisan politicians.”
The court order stated, “No great stretch is required to find that Ohio law recognizes a fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making.” Furthermore, it recognized that for women, and especially pregnant women, the six-week abortion ban denied equal protection of the law with respect to the fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making since the denial of access to a well-established, safe and potentially life-saving health care in the form of abortion would only be felt by women and pregnant women.
Led by Rep. Lepore-Hagan and Ohio House Minority Whip Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park), Democrats have introduced House Joint Resolution 5, the Reproductive Freedom Act, legislation that would create a constitutional amendment ensuring Ohioans have the freedom to make decisions about their bodies and healthcare. This includes all matters relating to pregnancy, including, but not limited to, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management and infertility care.
“We cannot take this two-week, life-saving opportunity for granted. More must be done to protect pregnant people from dying in Ohio,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “We must pass the Reproductive Freedom Act and take our healthcare decision-making power away from this extreme and out-of-touch legislature once and for all.”