Two more children forced to travel outside Ohio for abortions after being raped, records show

At least two more minors have been forced to travel out of state to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape, according to affidavits from medical personnel filed in an ongoing lawsuit against the Ohio attorney general.

The accounts, first reported by the Ohio Capital-Journalme, they emerged more than three months after the case of a 10-year-old Ohio sexual assault victim 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 due to the state’s Heartbeat Law, which prevents medical personnel from performing the procedure if a heartbeat is found.

The law was signed into law in 2019 by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, but only took effect when the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade in July. Now, medical officials have attested in court documents to the catastrophic effects of the Heartbeat Act on women seeking abortions, especially at least two other minors who were sexually assaulted and had to travel out of state to terminate their pregnancies.

Doctors also cited cases where women who were denied abortions later attempted suicide. In some cases, cancer patients who were denied treatment because of their pregnancies were also unable to abort, according to the affidavit.

Although the Heartbeat Law allows health care professionals to perform abortions in cases of medical emergencies and when the life of the mother is in danger, the exceptions are not spelled out and could lead to criminal penalties and revocation of abortions. licences, often leaving staff caught in a dilemma. .

The affidavits were filed in the ongoing case between the Preterm-Cleveland reproductive health clinic and the attorney general.

According to the Ohio Capital JournalAccording to the report, more than 600 abortion appointments had to be canceled in the wake of the Roe v Wade overturn.

“We have had at least three patients who threaten suicide. Another patient said she would try to terminate her pregnancy by drinking bleach,” Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio medical director Sharon Liner said in one of her affidavits, the Ohio Capital Journal informed.

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

In one of the cases, a minor traveled to Michigan to access abortion services, which “further exacerbated [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. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network)

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

An operations manager at a women’s health center in Dayton also filed an affidavit stating that a 16-year-old girl had to travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, for an abortion after a family member raped her.

“I am concerned that Ohio’s ban and the need to travel ever longer distances to obtain abortion services will not only cause 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 affidavit.

The Heartbeat Law has been temporarily suspended for the second time by a county judge; this time, the provision will last until mid-October and abortions will be allowed before 20 weeks of gestation.

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