At least two more minors have been forced to travel out of state to terminate pregnancies as a result of rapes, according to medical personnel’s affidavits filed in an ongoing lawsuit against the Ohio attorney general.
The accounts, first reported by Ohio Capital-Journal, has emerged 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 get 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 found.
The law was signed in 2019 by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, but did not take effect until the landmark Roe v Wade was overturned in July by the Supreme Court. Now, medical officials have attested in court cases to the disastrous effects of the Heartbeat Act 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 took up cases where women who were refused abortions later attempted suicide. In some cases, cancer patients who were denied treatment because of pregnancy were also unable to have an abortion, the statement said.
Although the Heartbeat Act allows health care providers to perform abortions in medical emergencies and when the mother’s life is in danger, the exceptions are not thoroughly explained and can lead to criminal penalties and license revocation, often leaving staff stuck in a quandary . .
The statements were filed in the ongoing case between reproductive health clinic Preterm-Cleveland and the attorney general.
according to Ohio Capital-Journalits report, more than 600 abortion appointments had to be canceled in the wake of the Roe v Wade ruling.
“We have had at least three patients who threatened to commit suicide. Another patient said she would try to terminate the pregnancy by drinking bleach, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio medical director Sharon Liner said in one of the affidavits. Ohio Capital-Journal reported.
“Another asked how much vitamin C she needed to take to terminate her pregnancy.”
In one of the cases, a minor traveled to Michigan to access abortion care, which “further exacerbated [her trauma] by having to wait over three weeks for her appointment.”
“At every step of this process, she felt the complete denial of bodily autonomy and safety that all human beings, especially children, should unequivocally have at all times,” said the statement by Adarsh E Krishen, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, according to Ohio Capital-Journal report.
An operations manager at a Dayton women’s health center also filed a statement that a 16-year-old had to travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, to get 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 hamper law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute these cases in the future,” wrote Aeran Trick . in his declaration.
The Heartbeat Act has been temporarily suspended for the second time by a county judge – this time the provision will last until mid-October, and abortions before the 20-week gestation limit will be allowed.