On Nov. 7, voters in Ohio approved a ballot initiative to protect access to reproductive health care in the state constitution. The adopted constitutional amendment states that “every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions” including decisions on abortion, contraception and more.
The amendment also states that “the State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against” the exercise of this right unless using the “least restrictive means to advance the individual’s health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care” and not “if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician [abortion] is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
The Ohio legislature had previously enacted bans on abortion after six and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and those laws will be invalidated. The constitutionality of other state laws regulating abortion, such as those requiring a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent, will be determined by the courts.
The AMA supports broad and equitable access to abortion, as well as other reproductive health care services, and opposes criminalization of the practice of medicine and other restrictions on evidence-based abortion care. For more information on state abortion laws, contact the AMA Advocacy Resource Center.
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