Ohio's New Anti-Choice Plan: Forced Ultrasounds, Imprisoned Doctors, Piles of Red Tape

What could be more extreme than politicians in Ohio trying to take tax dollars from low-income families and give them to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" that lie to women?

The outrageous — and in some cases just plain bizarre — anti-choice bill that NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has dubbed the "Politicians Playing Doctor" Act.

Thirty-five politicians (and counting) are pushing this bill, which is so egregious that it will force providers to knowingly mislead pregnant women and in some cases even tell them that they do not need medical care at all.

This is truly an anti-choice monster of a bill, so we've broken it down. If passed, the "Politicians Playing Doctor Act" would:

  • Force women to undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion even if it's medically unnecessary — and then make her pay for it herself. In an especially outrageous twist, if the forced ultrasound does not show certain gestational markers that normally appear between four and six weeks, a woman's provider would be forced to tell her she will miscarry and therefore needs no further medical care at all.
  • Require a physician to swear under oath and under penalty of perjury that they've complied with every requirement of the bill or face up to 10 years in prison and pay a $1,000,000 fine.
  • Require doctors to lie to women about the "risks" of abortion care.
  • Extend Ohio's forced waiting period from 24 to 48 hours before a woman can get abortion care, even if she has a medical emergency. And with only one abortion clinic left in Ohio, the time it takes to schedule an appointment can amount to a day of a lot more than 48 hours.
  • Requires women to sign a "conflict of interest" statement that includes the physician or abortion facility's gross income, a percentage of that income that came from providing abortion care, and a statement explaining the financial loss if the woman decides not to get an abortion. It's clearly not about giving a woman information, it's about harassing and stigmatizing abortion providers.

Shocked yet? It gets worse: there is no exemption from any of these requirements if a woman is a survivor of rape, incest, or if her health depends on accessing abortion care sooner.

Politicians think lying, shaming, and even withholding care is medicine, and it's inexcusable. This bill demonstrates just how little regard anti-choice politicians have for women's safety — and how far they're willing to go to restrict a woman's right to choose in Ohio.

If you live in Ohio or have friends there who are as appalled as we are, join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and ask them to tell Ohio Gov. Kasich to stop these politicians from playing doctor and block this bill if it comes to his desk. You can also stand with Ohio women and tweet your disapproval of this bill to Gov. Kasich's twitter handle: @JohnKasich

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