The Issue: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has signed into law one of the country’s most stringent abortion laws, banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Unless it is blocked in court, the law will take effect on July 10. When abortion is criminalized, we know who will be harmed first and the most. In a story that is as old as time, This Black Body continues to be under attack.
- #ThisBlackBody suffers from pregnancy-related complications, 3.3 times the rate of white women.
- #ThisBlackBody is more likely to be uninsured due to income inequality, face greater financial barriers to care when it needs it and is less likely to access quality prenatal care due to systemic barriers.
- #ThisBlackBody experiences higher rates of preventable diseases and chronic health conditions including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, all of which influence both maternal and infant health outcomes.
- #ThisBlackBody lives with a legacy of reproductive oppression, and continues to experience reproductive coercion – leading to a distrust of the healthcare system that further exacerbates disparities
#ThisBlackBody is issued a death warrant when we make safe abortion illegal
Our fight for reproductive justice is about ensuring that black people have the rights, resources, and safety nets to ensure we can be healthy and truly thrive.
Historically, #ThisBlackBody has been compromised due to systemic racism, prejudicial healthcare practices, and discriminatory government policies. But… #ThisBlackBody is yours; and you are the only person who should be making legal decisions for it. Feel the same? Join us to stop the Ohio abortion ban now:
- Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to share your #ThisBlackBody story.
- Sign up for email updates on the Ohio abortion ban
- Sign up to knock on doors as we educate communities on the ban
- Sign up for updates on public events, townhalls and rallies as we demand legislators to defeat this bill
Support New Voices for Reproductive Justice as we fight to improve health care outcomes for black women.
About the Bill
In April 2019, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine signed Senate Bill 23, the “Heartbill Bill,” into law. This law restricts abortion access after 6 weeks, charges doctors with a felony for performing an abortion after a detectable heartbeat which could result in up to 1 year in prison and the State Medical Board can impose fines of up to $20,000. This law is a total abortion ban in Ohio. At the time, it was the 6th bill of its kind to be passed in the nation.
Our New Voices for Reproductive Justice Team in Ohio was at the Statehouse in Columbus when the House of Representatives passed this bill by a vote of 56-40-3. The legislature would not accept any amendments for exemptions for rape or incest, to focus on Black maternal health, to extend the statute of limitations for rape beyond 25 years or for paid family leave and pregnancy accommodations.
As Ohio legislators – mostly white men – decided to take away abortion access, the bold and powerful Black women legislators led by Rep. Janine Boyd, Ranking Minority Member of the Health Committee, House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes and Rep. Stephanie Howse launched the Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus following in the footsteps of the newly formed Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus during Black Maternal Health Week. New Voices is lending our voice to their efforts with the “This Black Body” campaign to highlight and strengthen the agency, autonomy, and resistance of Black women and folks in Ohio.