Affidavits 2 More Pregnant Minors Who Were Raped Were Denied Ohio Abortions
According to signed affidavits filed by abortion providers, at least two more underage girls who became pregnant as a result of sexual assault were forced to leave Ohio. The affidavits were included in a lawsuit filed in Cincinnati that seeks to block the state of Ohio from enforcing its new, stringent abortion ban. The suspension in enforcement, which had been in place for two weeks, has been extended until at least October 12.
The affidavits indicate that a Columbus, Ohio, ten-year-old was not the only victim of rape who was required to leave the state due to their age. Further, they detail almost two dozen additional scenarios in which the abortion law imposed undue hardship on women. There are three women whose suicide attempts are detailed. Two of the ladies had cancer and were unable to receive therapy for it during their pregnancies or terminate the pregnancies.
The other three cases included women whose pregnancies could not have been successful because of significant foetal defects or other issues. The state of Ohio did not allow abortions, though. And in three cases, pregnant women experienced severely debilitating vomiting, with one lady unable to even leave the clinic floor. According to the affidavits, these ladies were unable to receive abortions in Ohio either.
They are part of the paperwork for Preterm-Cleveland v. Yost. Clinics in the state of Ohio are requesting a preliminary injunction after successfully obtaining a temporary restraining order blocking the law’s enforcement, Senate Bill 23. They are making the case that SB 23 is so burdensome that it undermines the fundamental rights of women guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution.
Ohio abortion clinic workers: Patients threaten suicide, face delays
The bill was passed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in 2019, but it was not implemented until the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was reversed on June 24. Many of the affidavits detail how the day’s work in Ohio clinics was immediately disrupted once the decision overturning Roe was announced. Up until the twentieth week of pregnancy, abortions were legal in Ohio. After foetal heart activity was found by ultrasonography, abortion was outlawed unless in extreme circumstances involving the mother’s life or health.
Clinic employees stated in testimonies that this typically occurs between weeks five and six of pregnancy, when as many as one-third of women and girls are unaware of their pregnancy. Staff at the facility were caught off guard by the new, much earlier deadline. The medical director of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio in Cincinnati, Dr. Sharon Liner, stated in an affidavit that the organisation had to cancel more than 600 appointments in the days after the implementation of SB 23.
Before an abortion can be done in the state of Ohio, a 24-hour waiting period and a second negative ultrasound are mandated. Since so much can change so rapidly at that stage of development, Liner said that 16% of women whose foetuses had no heart activity during the first scan were turned away in July because it was identified in the second.
“When we tell patients we cannot help them, they are tremendously disturbed, and all we can provide them is resources, information, and emotional support,” Liner said in her affidavit, which was taken while SB 23 was still in effect.
Clinics in Ohio have been sending patients who are not eligible for abortions in Ohio to other states, specifically Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York. The Greater Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliate and other groups have pledged to increase their efforts to help patients travel to other states. A number of patients, including at least one homeless woman, claim in their affidavits that they are unable to make the required excursions because of difficulties with things like transportation, child care, money, and time off work.
There was plenty of evidence suggesting the account was all too credible in July, when Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was casting unwarranted doubts on the existence of a 10-year-old rape victim. At least three patients have threatened suicide,” Liner continued. Another patient disclosed her plan to self-abort by ingesting bleach. One more wanted to know how much vitamin C she should take to induce labour. According to Liner, in July, the clinic had to turn away 60% of patients since the initial ultrasound revealed foetal heart activity.
Raped Ohio teens forced to Michigan, Indiana for abortions
In 2021, children and adults in Ohio reported 6,717 incidents of sexual abuse to Ohio’s Children’s Advocacy Centers. And according to the Ohio Department of Health, 571 girls aged 17 or younger had abortions in Ohio in 2020, the most recent year for which records are available. Of those, 52 (or one each week) were 13 or younger. Clinic staff affidavits submitted in late August and early September add to the growing body of evidence that rape and subsequent pregnancy among Ohio’s youngest
residents is a serious problem. SB 23 mandates that if foetal cardiac activity is detected, the victim must either have the baby or leave the state to seek an abortion. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s chief medical officer, Dr. Adarsh E. Krishen, spoke about a teen victim of sexual assault who was forced to go to Michigan for an abortion due of SB 23. Both Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio are served by Krishen’s organization’s medical centres.
“This patient had enormous pain from the assault itself and then faced extra anguish during a forensic interview with a physical exam to obtain evidence for the continuing police investigation,” Krishen wrote in his declaration. Waiting more than three weeks for her appointment just added to the stress she was under. All along the way, she experienced the systematic violation of her right to physical integrity and security, which is a fundamental human right and one that all children, in particular, should never be denied.
Yet another illustration of how SB 23 complicates police work related to rapes of minors. Operations manager at Women’s Med Center in Dayton Aeran Trick related a story about “a 16-year-old girl living in Southwestern Ohio who had been pregnant after being sexually raped by a family member.” Trick claimed that, like the Columbus, Ohio, 10-year-old, this adolescent was coerced into having an abortion in Indianapolis.