The Associated Press reports that, since 2011, seven of Ohio’s 16 abortion providers have either closed or cut back services due to the recent surge in anti-abortion legislation. An eighth clinic in Toledo may now close due to pending litigation.
Ohio’s plunge follows right behind Texas, where 17 of the 40 abortion providers have stopped operating since 2011. According to the AP:
Ohio saw induced abortions fall from 25,473 in 2012 to 23,216 in 2013 — a period when 5 of the 7 affected providers closed or curtailed services — state figures show. That was the lowest level recorded since the state began tracking the data in 1976, and part of a general downward trend that began in the late 1990s.
Ohio’s Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis told the AP he believes the drop in abortions is because “[o]ur society’s changing. More and more women are choosing life.” Gonidakis also cited crisis pregnancy centers as an effective tool in combating abortion.
The closures in Ohio, Texas, and most recently in Virginia, are a clear victory for anti-abortion activists who ditched their bloody fetus placards for sophisticated legislative campaigns that have systematically chipped away at women’s access to a safe and legal medical procedure.
Since 2011, Ohio has passed laws that:
• Ban women from getting an abortion if a doctor believes the fetus could be viable outside of the womb.
• Require women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat before an abortion (both procedures are considered medically unnecessary).
• Make it near impossible for legal abortion clinics to get transfer agreements with hospitals, a new requirement for clinics to stay operational.
Ohio’s Right to Life announced that they have plans to reintroduce a twice-defeated “heartbeat bill” which make it illegal for a woman to get an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The heartbeat bill would effectively outlaw abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
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