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What the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade means for Ohio

The Supreme Court has announced a ruling that will overturn Roe v. Wade in a move that will allow states to ban abortions.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a move that will allow states across the United States to ban abortions, the Supreme Court has announced a ruling overturning the nearly 50-year legal precedent of Roe v. Wade.

Naturally, many in Ohio want to know how the ruling will affect residents of the Buckeye State, which is considered to be one of the states that will likely enforce new restrictions as a result of Friday's ruling.

Ohio's current abortion laws

Currently, Ohio does not ban most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy. After 22 weeks, abortions are only permitted to save a patient’s life or when their health is seriously compromised.

The state, however, imposes a host of other restrictions, including parental consent for minors, a required ultrasound and in-person counseling followed by a 24-hour waiting period. Abortions are also prohibited for the reason of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis.

Additionally, Ohio limits the public funding of abortions to cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the patient’s life. Public employees’ abortion-related insurance coverage and coverage through health plans offered in the Affordable Care Act health exchange is also limited to those same scenarios.

Clinics that provide abortions are required to comply with regulations.

What Gov. Mike DeWine has said

After the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade leaked via Politico last month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he would ask Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to take action on the administration's 2019 "heartbeat bill," which is currently being held up in federal court.

"I'm asking him to go into federal court and ask the court to lift the stay that is on the bill that I have already signed," DeWine said after his victory in Ohio's Republican gubernatorial primary in May.

The "heartbeat bill" prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which is typically six weeks into a pregnancy. Abortion-rights advocates have argued that a ban on abortions after six weeks is effectively a complete ban on abortions, as most women don't know they are pregnant six weeks after their last menstruation (four weeks post-fertilization).

While DeWine signed the heartbeat bill in 2019 after it passed in Ohio's House of Representatives and Senate, it is currently being blocked in federal court. Friday's ruling, however, could open the door for the law to take effect in Ohio, as well as several other states that have passed the bill in recent years.

You can view the entirety of Ohio's "heartbeat bill" -- Senate Bill 23 -- here.

What's next

On Friday, Attorney General Yost announced that he has filed a motion to dissolve the injunction against the state's "heartbeat" law. In the filing, Yost said that Fridays ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization -- which overturned Roe v. Wade -- represents a "substantial change in the law" and repeals the current law supporting the court decision.

Last month, 3News legal analyst Stephanie Haney said that should Roe v. Wade be overturned, it's "highly likely" that abortions in the state would be outlawed. She gave further analysis Friday after the court made its decision.

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