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

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

The accounts, first reported by the Ohio Capital-JournaI, 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 have an abortion. The Indianapolis Star reported that the girl was six weeks and three days pregnant and was unable to have an abortion due to the state’s heartbeat law, which prevents medical personnel from performing the procedure if a heartbeat is detected.

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

Doctors also cited cases in which women who were denied abortions later attempted suicide. In some cases, cancer patients who were denied treatment due to pregnancy were also unable to have abortions, the affidavit states.

Although the Heartbeat Act allows medical professionals to perform abortions in medical emergencies and when the mother’s life is in danger, exceptions are not explained in detail and could result in criminal penalties. and the revocation of licenses, often leaving staff stuck in a dilemma. .

The affidavits were filed in the ongoing case between the Preterm-Cleveland Reproductive Health Clinic and the Attorney General.

According to Ohio Capital-JournalAccording to the Roe v Wade report, over 600 abortion appointments had to be canceled following the cancellation of Roe v Wade.

“We had at least three patients who threatened to commit suicide. Another patient said she would attempt to terminate her pregnancy by drinking bleach,” Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Medical Director Sharon Liner said in one of the affidavits. Ohio Capital-Journal reported.

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

In one case, a minor traveled to Michigan to access abortion care, which “further exacerbated [her trauma] having to wait more than three weeks for her appointment.

Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio to support abortion rights

(2022 Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network)

“At every step of this process, she felt the complete denial of bodily autonomy and safety, something that everyone, especially children, should unequivocally have at all times,” the affidavit read. of Adarsh ​​E Krishen, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, according to the 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 had to travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, for an abortion after being raped by a member. from his family.

“I fear that the Ohio ban and the need to travel ever-increasing distances to obtain abortion care will not only cause unimaginable harm to these young victims, but may also impede the ability of forces order to investigate and prosecute these cases in the future,” Aeran Trick wrote. in his affidavit.

The Heartbeat Act has been temporarily halted for the second time by a county judge – this time the provision will last until mid-October, and abortions before the 20th week of gestation will be permitted.


The Independent Gt

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