Impact of Supreme Court ruling in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
(AP) - The Supreme Court’s ruling Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade will impact states in different ways. Here are the potential effects on Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana:
Political control: The Ohio Legislature is controlled by Republicans who support restricting or banning abortions, and the Republican governor backs those efforts. Gov. Mike DeWine is up for reelection this year against Dayton’s former mayor Nan Whaley who supports abortion rights.
Background: Under current law, Ohio does not ban most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy; after that they’re allowed only to save a patient’s life or when their health is seriously compromised. But the state 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 prohibited for the reason of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. Ohio also limits the public funding of abortions to cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the patient’s life. It limits public employees’ abortion-related insurance coverage and coverage through health plans offered in the Affordable Care Act health exchange to those same scenarios. Clinics providing abortions must comply with a host of regulations.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, nothing will change immediately in Ohio. Two trigger bills are on hold in the Legislature, but a key legislative leader has said he anticipates needing to write new legislation after the decision is reversed that more carefully reflects the actual ruling. That all but certainly would not happen until lawmakers return to the capital after the November election. Quicker action could take place in the courts, where several Ohio laws restricting abortions have been temporarily blocked. That includes a ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks into pregnancy, which is likely to be unblocked and become effective if Roe is reversed.
What’s next: It is not clear what will happen next in Ohio. Activists are considering how to help Ohioans get abortions elsewhere. They may also mount a statewide ballot initiative that would embed the right to an abortion in the state constitution, though that could not happen before next year. Abortion opponents are weighing strategies for imposing a statewide abortion ban if Roe is overturned.
Political control: Republicans have a supermajority in the Kentucky Legislature and have been restricting abortion rights since the 2016 election over the vetoes of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who supports abortion rights.
Background: Kentucky bans abortions after 20 weeks, but all abortion services were temporarily halted in April after the legislature imposed new restrictions and reporting requirements on the state’s two abortion clinics. The clinics, both in Louisville, said they suspended abortions because state officials hadn’t written guidelines on how to comply with the new law. Noncompliance could result in stiff fines, felony penalties and revocation of physician and facility licenses. Abortions resumed after a federal judge temporarily blocked key parts of the law, including a provision banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: **If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion services in Kentucky would immediately become illegal under a “trigger law” enacted in 2019. The measure contains a narrow exception allowing abortion to prevent the death or permanent injury of a pregnant woman. Kentuckians will be able to vote this November on a proposed amendment declaring there is no right to an abortion in the state constitution.
What’s next: Abortion-rights activists say the suspension of abortion services in April foreshadowed what would happen in Kentucky and other Republican-leaning states if Roe v. Wade is overturned. It likely would end several legal challenges pending against other Kentucky abortion laws including a 2018 measure that abortion-rights supporters say would effectively ban a standard abortion method in the second trimester of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, can defend the measure that was struck down by lower courts.
Political control: Indiana has a Republican-dominated Legislature and a Republican governor in favor of restricting abortion access.
Background: Abortion in Indiana is legal up to about 20 weeks, with some provisions for medical emergencies. Before an abortion, patients must undergo an 18-hour waiting period. Medical providers must tell patients about the risks involved in abortion and must say the fetus can feel pain around 20 weeks, which is disputed. Providers must report complications related to abortion; failure to report can result in a misdemeanor, 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Federal courts have blocked several restrictions in Indiana, including an attempt to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure and a law that would have required doctors to tell pregnant women about a disputed treatment to potentially stop a drug-induced abortion.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: No immediate change would take effect in Indiana if Roe v. Wade is overturned or if the U.S. Supreme Court supports Mississippi’s 15-week ban. But legislators unwilling to wait until the 2023 session could ask Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to call a special session this summer to start modifying the state’s abortion laws.
What’s next: Shortly after the Supreme Court’s draft decision was leaked, Republican lawmakers said they would not make any moves to change Indiana’s abortion laws until the court releases its official decision. Some have expressed interest in adopting a law that bans abortions at the point when a medical practitioner can discern a fetal heartbeat. That’s usually around six weeks, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant.
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