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Ohio organization assists women seeking abortion services despite "heartbeat" law

Experts say 60% of people who seek abortions are already parents and that they seek abortions because they can't afford to add another child.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A statewide organization is reminding people that abortion is still legal in Ohio, but warns the state's newly implemented "heartbeat bill" is making it harder for women who are seeking abortion care. 

Women Have Options is a statewide abortion fund in Ohio. According to their website, the organization provides financial assistance, as well as support such as transportation and housing, to patients seeking contraception, emergency contraception, and abortion services.  .

In the last week, leaders say the word 'busy' has been an understatement.

"We have a huge influx of folks asking for our support, and also a huge influx of folks needing financial support. So we have seen an increase in the amount of money being requested of folks accessing care from Ohio," said Maggie Scotece, Interim executive director of Women Have Options.

Scotece says demand for the services they provide will continue to increase drastically. She also says there are certain groups of people who will feel the impacts of Ohio's abortion ban more than others.

"We know the vast majority of folks who seek abortion care are low-income folks," said Scotece. We also know this will disproportionately impact women of color and black folks in particular as well as disabled folks. And we also know it will impact parents the most."

Scotece says 60% of people who seek abortions are already parents and they seek abortions because they can't afford to add another child. She says the new law has added regulations that will make if even harder on women seeking legal abortions.

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"That means their appointments are going to cost significantly more money, and it's going to cost significantly more money to get to their appointments. And that's stressful for them, it's hard for them; they're pregnant for longer," said Scotece.

Abortion is still legal in Ohio as long as no fetal heart tones are detected, usually when a pregnancy is about six weeks along, but Scotece says oftentimes women don't even know they are pregnant until after the six-week mark.

That's where the organization comes in.

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"We fund anyone traveling to or from Ohio to access care," she said. "We fund both the clinical cost of care, the actual procedure itself, as well as provide direct grants to fund logistical barriers to access that care, whether its transportation, housing, childcare, anything like that."

She says anyone who needs help or wants more information is urged to reach out to Women Have Options. 

Ohioans can reach out on their website or our call at (614) 300-7811. 

If you'd like to help by donating they ask you to donate through their website, here.


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