Ohio Abortion Laws

The issue of abortion in the U.S. has historically been highly controversial with passionate advocates on both sides of the spectrum. Federal law protects a woman's right to choose an abortion since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Some states have limited access to abortion through legislation and other means, as pressure from both sides of the debate have made abortion a highly volatile area of law.

Ohio Abortion Laws

In Ohio, there are a number of restrictions imposed upon abortion. Here are a few:

  1. 24-Hour Waiting Period: Ohio's 24-Hour Informed Consent Law requires that women receive certain information at least 24-hours before an abortion in a face to face meeting with a licensed physician.
  2. Affordable Care Act: Health plans that are offered in the state's health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion in cases when the woman's life is endangered, rape or incest.
  3. Ohio Minor Law: If you are under the age of 18, a parent, legal guardian or custodian must accompany you to the appointment. The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
  4. Ohio Viability Law: Ohio bans abortions after a fetus has become "viable." This law requires doctors to perform viability testing before undertaking an abortion on a fetus that is 20 or more weeks in gestation.

The basic provisions of Ohio abortion laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Reproductive Rights section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 2919.11 to 18
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion (1) Failure to obtain informed consent; (2) taking life of fetus born alive or failing to provide reasonable medical attention to same; after viability, purposeful termination of a human pregnancy by any person, including the mother herself, with the intention other than to produce a live birth or remove a dead fetus
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Performed or induced by a physician who determines in good faith that the fetus is not viable or to prevent the death or serious bodily injury of the pregnant woman
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Violators guilty of unlawful abortion: first degree misdemeanor; second violation: fourth degree felony; purposely terminating child born alive or failing to take measures to save its life: guilty of abortion manslaughter, first degree felony
Consent Requirements Informed consent of mother; if mother is unemancipated minor, parental informed consent also required with 24 hrs. "actual notice"; court may authorize minor to consent without parental notification; other family members over 21 may issue consent if minor in danger of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from parent; constructive notice (of at least 48 hrs.) by both certified and ordinary mail allowed if parents or family members cannot be reached with reasonable effort
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed physician

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Ohio constitutional attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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