The ban on abortions has put Black women in Ohio at risk

Ohio Abortion Law

Abortion clinics near me in Cincinnati

Abortion statistics and access by state

Crisis pregnancy centers

Abortion laws in Ohio and regulations everywhere are changing. On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and making abortions no longer a constitutional right for women. This allows legislators in each state to have the power to determine if abortion is legal and when a woman can terminate her pregnancy.

Although Black people make up 14% of the population, Black women have the highest reported number of abortions. Black women have:

  • Abortions 3.8 times greater than white women
  • Abortions 2.15 times greater than Hispanic women
  • Have 401 abortions per 1000 births (aged 15–44 years old)

Nationally, in 2016, the CDC reported:

  • Non-Hispanic Black women accounted for 38% of all reported abortions
  • Non-Hispanic white women accounted for 35% of abortions
  • Other races accounted for 8.2% of abortions

When Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King and chair of the Center for the American Dream at the America First Policy Institute, was asked about the high percentage of Black women accounted for when it came to abortions provided by the CDC, she said, “There is overwhelming evidence that many abortions have been performed to reduce minority populations.”

While evidence of structural racism is documented, other reasons include living in poverty, intimate partner violence, limited access to comprehensive sex education, lower rates of insurance coverage, and more.

Why do women receive abortions?
A national survey of more than 2.4 million women who had abortions performed from 1996 to 2020 provides an estimation for hard case abortions.

  • 1.14% are done to save the life or physical health of the mother.
  • 1.28% to preserve the mental health of the mother.
  • 0.39% in cases of rape or incest.
  • 0.69% for fetal birth defects
  • 3.50% for all the hard cases combined.
  • 96.50% of all abortions are performed for social or economic reasons.

What does the abortion ban mean for Ohio women?
The Heartbeat Bill, the Ohio ban on abortion prohibits doctors from performing the procedure once the cardiac activity of the baby is detected. Cardiac detection occurs six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Abortions can be performed for up to 24 weeks. If medically necessary, abortions can be performed up until 27 weeks. In 2015, Ohio Black women accounted for 40.7% of abortions in the United States.

Additionally, Ohio did begin to attempt to block the six-week abortion plan. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Christian Jenkins set a hearing for lawyers to explain whether he should grant an initial ban, which could forever block state law banning doctors from performing abortions after the cardiac activity is detected.

Can limited abortion access affect the growth of poverty?
Research shows that abortion is a procedure that helps women’s health and stability, especially young women and Black women. Illegal and limited abortion access would impact disadvantaged women the most. Women in these conditions usually do not have accommodating work policies for maternity leave or access to affordable childcare.

Forbes reported that women who see abortions are three times as likely to be poor:

  • 49% are poor while the national poverty rate is about 12%
  • 59% of women who seek abortions are already mothers
  • 75% are low-income
  • 55% report a recent disruptive life event such as the death of a close friend or family member, job loss, the termination of a relationship with a partner, or overdue rent or mortgage obligations

Studies show that legal abortion access helps:

  • Reduced teen motherhood by 34%
  • Reduced teen marriage by 20%
  • Increased the probability that women facing unintended pregnancies attend college and enter professional occupations
  • Black women experienced a 28 to 40% decline in maternal mortality due to abortion legalization
  • Young women who started motherhood by just one year later realized an 11% increase in hourly wages later in their careers
  • Reduced birthrates with a downstream effect of letting families invest in the children they have and for women to manage their work life

Where are Ohio abortions performed after six weeks?
For over 100 years the national organization of Planned Parenthood has been a trusted resource in navigating women’s health and decisions.

Women can visit the AbortionFinder, a directory of trusted and legally verified abortion service providers in the United States.

While Ohioans can currently seek an abortion in their home state, below are the nearest accessible states under a six-hour drive that provide abortions as well.

Click each state to learn more about their abortion legislature.

Are FDA abortion pills legal in Ohio?
The abortion pill, also called medication abortion, is a safe way to terminate a pregnancy and can be used up to 10 weeks of gestation. The abortion pill procedure is self-managed and performed at home during the first trimester. More than 54% of abortions are done using this method.

Planned Parenthood has also announced it will soon open a 37-foot converted RV mobile clinic in southern Illinois where abortion remains legal. The mobile clinic will offer consultations and abortion pills.

How much does an abortion cost in Ohio?
Planned Parenthood reports that abortion can cost up to $750 in the first trimester and up to $1,500 later in the pregnancy. Of course, this depends on a few things, including the city/state you live in, insurance, income, financial support programs in your area, and the type of abortion one receives.

Ohio Medicaid is 1 of 33 states that follow the federal standard and provide abortions in life endangerment, rape, and incest cases. Visit Ohio Medicaid online or call 1-800-324-8680 for more information.

The Midwest Action Coalition is an abortion fund that helps pregnant women traveling to, from, or within the Midwest to access safe and legal abortion services. They do not pay for the abortion, but can help with travel, accommodations, food, medication, and childcare costs.

How does pregnancy affect Black women?
The delivery room can be scary for Black women who experience life-threatening complications. As a result, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts.  The cause of this disparity is the lack of access and poor-quality care among women at lower socioeconomic levels. Therefore, Black women are undervalued due to dismissing health concerns and untreated symptoms.

Above all, Black women should seek the professional comfort and skill of a Black OB-GYN and professional team. View this list of Black OB-GYNs accepting new patients in the Cincinnati area.

Cincinnati Black women, with or without insurance can also contact the Cincinnati Health Department to make an appointment with a local physician to be referred to an OB-GYN.

While state governments continue to change the language and policies around the law of abortion, including the Ohio abortion law, hopefully, this information can guide your research about what you need to know and how to govern your own body. Before you make any decisions, please consult with a medical professional.

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Marissa Staples, Writer
The Voice of Black Cincinnati

The post What the Ohio Abortion Law and the demise of Roe v. Wade means to Black Women appeared first on The Voice of Black Cincinnati.

This content was originally published here.

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