Ohio introduces an antiabortion bill similar to that of Texas, but worse: it bans all abortions

November 4, 2021 • 9:15 am

Yes, the states are falling like dominoes: just yesterday Ohio passed an abortion law whose enforcement mechanism is similar to that of Texas, but the restrictions on abortion are even more stringent.  Read the article from The Hill by clicking on the screenshot:

An excerpt:

The bill, called the 2363 Act, which the lawmakers said is the number of children lost to abortion everyday in the U.S., seeks to ban all abortions in Ohio and, like the Texas law, empower “any person” to bring civil action against an individual who performs and abortion or “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”

Individuals who filed such lawsuits will be permitted to ask for $10,000 or more, according to Cleveland.com.

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The legislation does not include exceptions for rape or incest, but it would shield abortion patients from being sued by individuals who may have gotten them pregnant through rape or another form of sexual violence.

Well goody goody for that last stipulation!  The difference between Ohio and Texas is not only that generous stipulation, but the declaration of illegality of all abortions (for Texas it’s when there’s a fetal heartbeat—about six weeks after conception).

Can you guess which party introduced the bill? You won’t be wrong? One more excerpt:

“The sanctity of human life, born and preborn, must be preserved in Ohio,” Powell said, according to Cleveland.com. “The 2363 Act is about protecting our fundamental, constitutional right to be born and live. Abortion kills children, scars families, and harms women. We can and must do better.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D) slammed the bill, calling it “an egregious assault on women, a dangerous attack on healthcare rights and an embarrassment for our state,” adding that “Ohio Republicans want to control women, but we won’t be silent.”

“Criminalizing care will disproportionately impact women of color, nonbinary people and those already at a disadvantage in our health and criminal justice system. …Once again, Republicans are showing that the everyday needs of Ohioans are less important than scoring political points, likes and retweets,” Sykes said, according to Cleveland.com.

I wish they hadn’t racialized the bill in this way. I think pro-choice is the right thing to do for everyone, and is not a palliative for racism. It’s like arguing for gun control because guns disproportionately kill people of color. Anyway, if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, which is at this moment adjudicating the Texas bill, regulation of abortion will be thrown back to the states, and this kind of thing will be passed in many states.  I’m pretty sure that the Supremes won’t allow the “vigilante enforcement” procedure to stand, but without Roe v. Wade Ohio’s bill won’t need it.

You can read the ten-page bill by clicking on its first page below:

Here’s the heartbeat of the bill; note the cribbing from the Declaration of Independence:

And you have four years to bring suit and get your $10,000 reward for incriminating people. Note that the woman who has the abortion herself cannot be sued; it’s an attempt to stop abortion by intimidating abortion providers.

Since the Ohio legislature is majority Republican, and the governor is also Republican, things don’t look good.

27 thoughts on “Ohio introduces an antiabortion bill similar to that of Texas, but worse: it bans all abortions

  1. I’m very interested in Ken K’s take on the constitutionality/legality of the TX law and now the OH law, especially the idea of private citizens suing other private citizens about their private medical decisions.

    This all just seems completely crazy from a legal standpoint to me. How does anyone have standing to mess with another person’s healthcare decisions?

    Ken, maybe you commented on that on another thread and I missed it.

    1. In federal cases, the “standing” requirement is derived from Clause 1, Section 2 of Article III of the US constitution delimiting the jurisdiction of federal courts to actual “cases” and “controversies.” Under that doctrine, parties seeking relief must demonstrate that they have or will suffer an “injury in fact” in order to maintain a cause of action (a standard the vigilantes in Ohio and Texas appear highly unlikely to satisfy).

      In state-court causes of action arising under state laws, by contrast, such process and procedural matters as “standing” are generally relegated to state courts to determine according to their own respective state constitutions, statutes, and procedural rules.

      In any event, as our host observes, this entire topic may soon be rendered moot if SCOTUS overrules (or merely guts without expressly overruling) Roe v. Wade and the cases, such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that have followed it and stamped their own gloss upon it. Indeed, at least 11 states already have on their books so-called “trigger laws” that would make all abortions illegal the moment SCOTUS dismantles Roe — automatically, ipso facto, sine die (and any other applicable Latin phrases you may wish to pluck from Black’s Law Dictionary).

      A sad state of affairs, this is.

  2. Complexities aside, the Fourteenth Amendment is quite clear:

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

    “Born” is rather definitive, one would think.

    A pre-born “person” therefore doesn’t meet the originalist, textualist definition of what constitutes an American citizen: and thus, legally speaking, should eschew any claim to inherent rights, particularly when such claims are meant to override the autonomy of a woman who was, last I checked, actually born.

    So — the conservative cabal of the Court shouldn’t have any qualms about upholding their “sacred” methodology regarding how to interpret the Constitution … right?

  3. This is so awful but I’m not surprised that people who fly into sanctimonious rage saying “pregnant women” instead of “pregnant people” seem to have no real rage over this.

    1. I go into a rage every time one of them invokes “the sanctity of human life,” as they clearly don’t give a f*ck; certainly not enough to pay for prenatal care, maternity leave, a quality of life, etc. And they still reserve the right for the state to send them off to war, to imprison them, or kill them. “Not Caring®” is practically their brand.

  4. With republicans running the table for governor, lt governor, ag, and house of delegates (apparently at this point…not confirmed until nov 15), ifully expect something similar in VA come January administration change.

  5. Part of me wants to create a meme saying, “Attention rapists: If Texas isn’t to your taste, now you can also go to Ohio to maximize the chances that your genes will be passed on.” But it’s a bit too dark, even for me.

  6. How moving that the “pre-born” now join corporations in enjoying the prerogatives of personhood! It only remains for Republican legislatures to revoke the personhood of the post-born. In the meantime, we can rely on the performance Left to insist that personhood among the post-born is secondary to group identity, such as membership in the evil category of white oppressors or in the sanctified BIPOCx.

  7. The legislation does not include exceptions for rape or incest, but it would shield abortion patients from being sued by individuals who may have gotten them pregnant through rape or another form of sexual violence.

    In the law there is an equitable principle under which a plaintiff cannot collect damages from a defendant where the plaintiff engaged in unlawful or immoral conduct that gave rise to the cause of action. It is known as the “dirty hands doctrine.”

    I guess the provision above is the Buckeye state’s “dirty dick” doctrine.

    Thank heaven (and the Ohio legislature) for such tender mercies towards rape victims.

  8. I’m pretty sure that the Supremes won’t allow the “vigilante enforcement” procedure to stand

    Who knows, but my cynical side says they’ll let the mechanism stand as long as it’s being used to punish liberals. It’ll only be when a liberal state passes a “you can sue gun owners for $10,000 for knowingly engaging in risky gun-carrying” that SCOTUS will decide it’s unconstitutional.

    1. Speaking of “risky gun-carrying,” what do you think SCOTUS will rule in regards to the New York case seeking unrestricted rights to concealed carry? I think they see blood and will rule for guns hidden everywhere and no state has the right to protect its citizens.

      1. (As I long-time gun owner) I am really worried about this too. That is basically insane.

        I live in Minnesota, where to get a carry permit, you at least have to pass a class. I don’t even want permits from other states (where if you can reach the counter and write the check you can get a permit) in my state.

  9. Living in America is so goddamn tiresome. I’m very much ashamed of my country and her priorities- from both sides of the political spectrum, but mostly from the evangelical nationalists.

  10. Is it not true that the process of biological reproduction begins not with conception, but earlier, with meiosis? Meiosis is a necessary first step in the process without which conception, therefore pregnancy is impossible. Should it not follow then, that the choice to avoid pregnancy by being celibate aborts the biological process? Why does it not follow then that every person who chooses to avoid pregnancy by being celibate is guilty of abortion?

  11. One step away from laws pertaining to the illegal use of a penis or vagina.
    e.g. All teenage boys will have their hands bound to the bed to stop the illegal practice of… let the hand of god guide you dear boys (or a priest) Lord have mercy.
    Laws to protect our image before god where before life becomes our ticket to the afterlife.

  12. I’m trying to popularize the following proposition: Every “pro-life” activist in the US should register so as to be compelled to take at least one child from an unwanted pregnancy into their homes and raise it as one of their own…I suppose there is little hope of such a thing becoming codified, but the point would be to just to make those posturing politiscums explain why they couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, since obviously none of them would..

    1. I think it would be more appealing if you allowed them to throw a rock at the pregnant woman. Punishment is what this crowd is about and punishing a woman for having sex like a hussy, with motherhood, seems to be their desire.

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