Two more children forced to travel from Ohio for abortions after being raped

At least two other minors were forced to travel out of state to terminate pregnancies as a result of rape, according to medical personnel affidavits filed in an ongoing lawsuit against the Ohio attorney general.

The accounts first reported by Ohio Capital-Journall, come more than three months after the case of a 10-year-old sexual assault victim in Ohio made national headlines when it was revealed she had to travel to Indiana to have an abortion. The Indianapolis Star reported that the girl was six weeks and three days pregnant and could not have an abortion because of the state’s heartbeat law, which prevents medical personnel from performing the procedure if a heartbeat is detected.

The law was signed into law in 2019 by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, but didn’t go into effect until the landmark Roe v Wade case was overturned in July by the Supreme Court. Medical officials have now testified in court documents about the Heartbeat Act’s disastrous effects on women seeking abortions, particularly on at least two other minors who were sexually assaulted and had to travel out of state to terminate their pregnancies .

Doctors also point to cases in which women who were denied an abortion later tried to kill themselves. In some cases, cancer patients who were denied treatment because of their pregnancy were also unable to obtain abortions, the affidavit states.

Although the Heartbeat Act allows health professionals to perform abortions in medical emergencies and when the mother’s life is in danger, the exceptions are not explained in detail and can lead to criminal penalties and license revocation, often putting staff in dilemma.

The affidavits were filed in the ongoing case between the Preterm-Cleveland Reproductive Health Clinic and the Attorney General.

According to Ohio Capital-Journalreport, more than 600 abortion appointments had to be reversed after Roe v Wade was overturned.

“We had at least three patients threatening to kill themselves. Another patient said she would try to terminate her pregnancy by drinking bleach,” Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Medical Director Sharon Linner said in one of the affidavits. Ohio Capital-Journal reported.

“Another asked how much vitamin C she should take to terminate her pregnancy.”

In one case, a minor traveled to Michigan to access abortion care, which “further aggravated [her trauma] having to wait more than three weeks for her appointment.’

Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio in support of abortion rights

(2022 Barbara J. Perenik/The Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network)

“At every step of this process, she felt the complete denial of bodily autonomy and safety, something that all people, especially children, should unequivocally have at all times,” according to the affidavit by Adarsh ​​E. Krishen, Planned Parenthood’s chief medical officer. of Greater Ohio, according to Ohio Capital-Journal report.

An operations manager at a Dayton women’s health center also filed an affidavit that a 16-year-old had to travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to have an abortion after she was raped by a family member.

“I am concerned that Ohio’s ban and the need to travel ever greater distances to obtain abortion care not only causes unimaginable harm to these young victims, but may also hinder law enforcement’s ability to investigate and pursue these cases in the future,” Aeran Trick wrote in his affidavit.

The Heartbeat Act has been temporarily suspended for a second time by a district judge – this time the provision will last until mid-October and allow abortions before the 20th week of pregnancy.

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