Abortion providers share stories from Ohios seeking services

Abortion providers share stories from Ohios seeking services

By: Jo Ingles | Statehouse News Bureau

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s new six-week abortion ban is in place, but Ohioans who want abortions still have the option to log on to these services.

Iris Harvey, president of Planned Parenthood, at a protest. [Jo Ingles | Statehouse News Bureau]

Dr. Adarsh ​​Krishen, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, said staff at those facilities should call patients scheduled for abortions — within days of the state Supreme Court ruling States to annul Roe v. Wade – to undo these procedures.

Hours after the High Court action, a federal court that had suspended Ohio’s six-week abortion ban allowed it to go into effect.

This ban, also known as the “heartbeat” bill, prohibits abortion at the time when fetal heart activity can be detected. That’s about six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women even know they’re pregnant. Since then, Krishen said staff at Planned Parenthoods in Ohio have helped patients in a variety of ways.

“We have navigators who help patients access the care they need. Most of our patients travel to neighboring states for treatment. Staff and navigators assist these patients with providing labs and ultrasounds as needed, scheduling appointments in an area that best meets a patient’s needs, performing financial assessments to facilitate travel, childcare children, hotel reservations and reduce barriers they may face,” says Krishen.

Krishen said there is a strong network of providers who have worked together to figure out what they can and cannot do to ensure the transfer of care is as safe, seamless and quick as possible. And he said private companies have helped in a variety of ways by providing funds, transportation and more to help people seeking abortions.

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Iris Harvey, said she hears the stories of parents who have been asked to take their pregnant 10- and 14-year-old children to neighboring states to be abort. She said her staff also deal with pregnant adults, including one who was completely desperate.

“She told them, ‘I am homeless. I can’t take care of myself,” Harvey said of the conversation the homeless person had with Planned Parenthood staff members.

As the conversation continued, Harvey said the pregnant homeless man threatened to hurt herself.

“’I’m in a very heavy traffic area. I’m going to get off this sidewalk. I’m going to pass in front of a car. And I’m going to end all of this if you can help me,” said Harvey, the pregnant person under threat.

Harvey said staff were able to get mental health treatment at the scene to avoid this self-harm. But Harvey said those are just a few of the many stories of pregnant women in Ohio who don’t have abortion options right now. And she feared it would get worse once state lawmakers returned in the fall to pass an outright ban on abortion.

The Future of Abortion in Ohio

The future of abortion in Ohio may soon change. Republicans who control the Ohio Legislature say they want to pass a total ban on abortion in Ohio.

Jessie Hill, associate dean for research and faculty development at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, said the lawsuit her group filed in federal court to block the abortion ban from six weeks from taking effect was still under consideration on its merits. She hopes the court will rule that the Ohio constitution allows abortion. At the federal level, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to preserve access to abortion.

“I call on the Department of Justice, just as it did in the civil rights era, to do everything in its power to protect these women who seek to claim their rights,” Biden said during the interview. a press conference on Friday.

Biden said he is calling on other federal agencies to take action to protect access to abortion drugs and birth control and to protect patient privacy. But Biden’s actions are limited. He said Congress needed to pass legislation to codify Roe v. Wade.

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